The Issue: Healthy Tree Canopy Improves Environment
Every year, thousands of trees die from disease, pests, extreme weather, and old age, slowly depleting the natural tree canopy. Planting new trees in urban areas beautifies them and improves water and air quality, but urban and community forestry programs face increasingly difficult conditions including threats to tree health and decreased funding for their efforts.
The Campaign: Plant Mature Trees to Strengthen Urban Forest
If this Grassroots campaign raises $650, then Tree Trust can plant 10 trees in the metro Twin Cities area through its Green Futures Program, with matching donations up to $10,000 from an anonymous donor. Each additional $130 raised—in conjunction with the matching donation—will allow the planting of another two trees. The Green Futures program aims to rebuild the natural canopy and combat the invasive emerald ash borer species. Tree Trust staff and volunteers plant 6- to 10-foot, well-established trees, which are more likely to thrive than seedlings. They also arrange for three years of professional maintenance to ensure each tree settles into its new environment.
Donations will be matched up to $10,000 by an anonymous donor. You can follow the progress of this and other Grassroots campaigns at the Groupon Grassroots website.
In 1976, Tree Trust was formed to help solve two ongoing problems: dutch elm disease was destroying the urban canopy, and local residents were experiencing the languor of employment and poverty. Tree Trust hired unemployed individuals and trained them to replant the decaying forests in the region. Today, the team builds staircases and retaining walls to prevent erosion, clears buckthorn to help native plants thrive, creates trails for recreational activities, constructs LEED-certified houses, and replaces diseased trees with thousands of new trees every year. The organization also hosts community plantings and employs youth in summer programs to instill an ethic of environmental stewardship. Since its inception, Tree Trust has provided employment training for more than 42,000 people, planted 72,000 trees and shrubs, and educated more than 100,000 students about protecting green spaces.