Samarskaya Luka
Samarskaya Luka National Park. American Forests and Alcoa Foundation are returning to Samara, Russia, for a third year. Credit:

They say that the third time’s the charm, but when it comes to our partnership with Alcoa Foundation, we like to think the first two times were pretty charmed as well! In just two years, the Alcoa Foundation and American Forests Global ReLeaf Partnership for Trees has planted 520,000 trees, bringing the environmental benefits of cleaner air, cleaner water, carbon storage and wildlife habitat to diverse communities around the world.

Now, entering the third year, we’re excited both to continue our work in communities where the partnership has planted before and to work with new communities to reach more people with the benefits of trees.

Loblolly pine stand
Loblolly pine are being planted in the 2013 Alcoa Foundation and American Forests Global ReLeaf Partnership for Trees’ first Texas project. Credit: David Stephens,

We’ll be returning for the third year to places like Samara, Russia, and Whatcom County, Wash. In Samara, where we worked last year to turn a garbage site into a park, in its third year, the partnership is restoring parts of Samarskaya Luka National Park damaged by wildfire. In Whatcom County, we’re continuing work with the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association to improve local waterway health for the benefit of salmon and other aquatic species. If you haven’t seen it already, be sure to check out the video about the project.

New project areas for 2013 include Texas, where the partnership will take on the planting of 54,000 trees to restore loblolly pines to the Lost Pines ecosystem in Bastrop County, where a 2011 wildfire destroyed 1,600 homes and businesses in addition to the ecosystem devastation. The partnership will also head across the pond to England — for Global ReLeaf’s first projects ever in the United Kingdom — improving wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities in Birmingham and Exeter.

In all, the 2013 Alcoa Foundation and American Forests Global ReLeaf Partnership is planting more than 175,000 trees in 19 project sites, from Pennsylvania to Fjarðabyggð, Iceland, and back again. So, yes, we hope the third time will be as much of a charm as the first two.