By Lea Sloan, Vice President of Communications
This morning, the stars literally aligned for American Forests, thanks to the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. A little more than a week before the 22nd annual presentation of the SAG Awards and live television broadcast (Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. ET on TBS and TNT), American Forests was announced as their environmental partner for 2016, at a media conference and tree planting ceremony beside the Los Angeles River.
American Forests will be planting one tree in Angeles National Forest for every SAG Awards guest. What does Angeles National Forest have to do with the Los Angeles River, you ask? Actually, quite a bit! The forest is the source of the river, and it’s an 800-plus square-mile watershed.
The SAG Awards’ commitment to environmental causes is noteworthy. It has been honored with the Green Seal by the Environmental Media Association for each of the last seven years, the only television special event to have achieved that stature.
The site chosen for the media conference is a pocket park in Sherman Oaks, part of the massive LA Riverworks project, a remarkable, ambitious, billion-dollar project aiming to reclaim and transform the LA River over the next 20-50 years. The tree planted this morning was a Fremont cottonwood, chosen as it is a native tree suited for a riverside environment in LA’s rare Mediterranean climate.
As the East Coast braces for a major snowstorm and the West coast dodges the fickle weather delivered by El Niño, the day dawned blessedly bright and mild.
Dozens of media members gathered to see and hear Katie Lowes, star on ABC’s hit show “Scandal” and SAG Awards’ social media ambassador; Kathy Connell, SAG Awards Executive Producer; JoBeth Williams, Chair, SAG Awards Committee and President of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Board; Woody Schultz, known for his work on Avatar, American Pie and Beowulf and SAG Awards Committee member; Kevin James, Board of Public Works Commission President and LA’s Chief Film Liaison; and our own Scott Steen, American Forests’ President and CEO.
Even the German Shepherd next door stopped barking to listen.
American Forests was also excited to announce our new Text-to-Give number, allowing SAG Awards guests and viewers (just like you!) to plant 10 trees for $10. To join in the fun and help plant a tree in Angeles National Forest, text FORESTS to 80077. You can make a difference!