April 26th, 2017|Tags: , , |0 Comments


This Earth Month, we’re excited to present our 2017 restoration projects with our long-time partner, Alcoa Foundation. The project announcement coincides with more news American Forests is also thrilled to release: a new, three-year partnership with Alcoa Foundation to enhance biodiversity and combat climate change in key areas across the globe!

Check out footage from our 2016 project in Pittsburgh, Penn., below.

In the new partnership’s first year alone, American Forests will work with partners to restore over 140 acres in 11 locations while engaging 2,500 volunteers. Here is a brief look at our 2017 projects:

Location: Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge, Indiana, USA
Local Partner: Friends of the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge

More than 16,000 native hardwood trees will be planted on 30 acres on two recently acquired properties. In addition to tree planting on the refuge, invasive tree species will be removed from 5 acres of oak savannah on the Columbia Mine Preserve owned by the Sycamore Land Trust. Removing the invasive trees will allow native oaks and important pollinator plants to thrive, while the removed invasive trees will be added to nearby lakes for fish habitat.

Location: Massena, New York, USA
Local Partner: Town of Massena Electric Department

The Electric Department will engage volunteers to plant 100 larger-stock trees including red maple, sugar maple, northern red oak and flowering crabapple in underserved neighborhoods based on the community’s strategic forest plan. Additionally, 1,250 seedlings will be planted on a recently closed sand mining site within the community, improving environmental conditions for residents and local wildlife.

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Local Partner: Tree Pittsburgh

Building on momentum and interest from last year’s tree planting project, Tree Pittsburgh will plant 2,000 trees on 5 acres of land in a two-year project. Planting trees will help to recover nearly 10,000 acres of tree cover lost in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County over the past five years from residential and commercial development, and the loss of many ash trees due to emerald ash borer, an invasive pest.

Location: Whatcom County, Washington, USA
Local Partner: Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association

A community engagement powerhouse, the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) will work with 10 community partners to identify degraded stream sides along salmon-bearing waterways and host 15 volunteer work parties to restore them. Planting native trees provides salmon various ecosystem benefits, such as bank stabilization, improved water clarity, detritus input, cooling shade and higher dissolved oxygen. These work parties are expected to engage 2,000 volunteers that will plant 6,000 native trees and shrubs.

Locations: Madrid, Avilés, A Coruña, and San Ciprián, Spain
Local Partner: Ecoherencia

Ecoherencia will host four volunteer tree planting events in different locations across Spain. These events are expected to attract over 200 volunteers in total that will plant 1,800 trees native to the Iberian Peninsula. Reforestation with native trees and other understory plants will aid in the recovery of Spain’s unique habitats, combat desertification and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Locations: Eskifjörður and Úlfljótsvatn, Iceland
Local Partner: Icelandic Forestry Association

With local partners, we will plant 7,500 trees in Eskifjörður and Úlfljótsvatn — east and southwest Iceland, respectively — in a collaborative effort between the Icelandic Forestry Association and Eskifjörður Forestry Association. Reforestation in Iceland will also help stabilize easily eroded soils composed of volcanic ash and capture ash and tephra from new volcanic eruptions, which are common here.

Location: São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil
Local Partner: Escola Casa Familiar Rural

Tropical rainforest deforestation pollutes rivers and other important drinking water sources, contributes to wildfire risk, and fosters a general lack of appreciation for the environment. To address these compounding issues, Escola Casa Familiar Rural will construct a native plant nursery at their school in São Luís, which is expected to annually produce 500 tree seedlings that will be given away at no cost to the community.

Location: São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil
Local Partner: Escola Casa Familiar Rural

All bauxite ore produced at Alcoa’s Juruti mine is transported 50 kilometers by train to the port every day. In 2017, the second phase of their project, the Vitoria Regia Institute seeks to offset the train’s carbon emissions by restoring tropical rainforest near Juruti and inventorying the sequestered carbon. Past work has shown that each native tree of the Atlantic Forest sequesters 315 kilograms of carbon in 20 years.

Location: Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Local Partner: Associacao Pocos Sustentavel

Small forests in urban areas are disproportionally important to people for the recreational opportunities and thermal comfort they provide, among other benefits. Associacao Pocos Sustentavel seeks to reclaim and restore open spaces in Poços de Caldas with plant species native to the Atlantic Forest ecosystem. Working in collaboration with Brazilian Botanic Gardens Network, seeds from native plants will be collected and catalogued as part of a scientific conservation effort.

Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Local Partner: Associação Corredor Ecológico do Vale do Paraíba (ACEVP)

The Atlantic Forest contains more than 20,000 plant species and some 2,200 animal species, many of them found nowhere else. Yet, only 10 percent of the original forest remains. To help restore this natural treasure, ACEVP will plant 4,690 native trees in strategic locations, employing agroforestry techniques where possible to simultaneously restore forest functions and support private landowners.

Location: Quebec, Canada
Local Partner: Comité de Zones d’Interventions Prioritaires Les Deux Rives

St. Paul Lake contains a rich diversity of fish species and aquatic plants, but water pollution from nearby farms is degrading water and threatening this biodiversity. To restore water quality in the lake and St. Lawrence River watershed, 9,000 trees will be planted along 9 kilometers of shoreline and tributaries. Comité de Zones d’Interventions Prioritaires Les Deux Rives will work with 10 farmers to restore the riparian areas.

Keep checking back with us on Loose Leaf or by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as we will be highlighting each of these projects throughout the year!

Learn more about our partnership