Every time a tree is planted, our environment improves.
For over two decades, our Global ReLeaf program has worked with local partners to plant trees in every state in the US, and in 38 countries around the world. Millions of trees have been planted with our help in areas damaged by natural causes or human activity.
Because natural disasters like severe storms and intense wildfires can damage or destroy large numbers of trees, we work to replant the areas that have been deforested. After Hurricane Katrina, we worked with Gulf Coast communities to get new trees planted as quickly as possible. And each year, many of our projects in western forests are aimed at replanting areas that can no longer regenerate naturally because of high-intensity burns.
Restoration of any woodland will provide habitat for a wide variety of creatures, and some projects have been planted specifically to provide food and shelter for birds and animals as their habitats are destroyed or degraded by climate change, wildfire, human activity, or a number of other causes. We are working with Huron-Manistee National Forest to plant 402,000 trees over 369 acres to restore the unique habitat of the endangered Kirtland’s warbler. We are also working to reforest parts of the Michoacán preserve in Mexico to restore the oyamel fir forests that the Monarch butterfly relies on for winter habitat.
We also address human needs. In a city, the environmental impact of a single tree is proportionally much greater than in the wilderness. Our urban programs increase cities’ tree canopies to help cool and beautify urban neighborhoods. Expanding the urban forest also enhances the city’s natural water management system, saving city budgets. Some of urban trees’ other benefits include reducing air conditioning costs by shading a heat pump compressor, fighting the epidemic of childhood asthma by capturing particulate air pollution, and storing carbon from emissions. We provide grants to leverage community resources for a variety of projects, including streamside forest buffers, street trees, and open-space plantings.