The end of October always means two things to us. Sore arm muscles. And feeling gratified about the work we just did to create healthy and resilient forests from coast to coast.
That’s because October 31 marks the end of our two-month tree planting season. In the fall, as well as the spring, we partner with nonprofit organizations, companies and others to do the bulk of our tree planting—in cities and wilderness areas.
This season was particularly active. We planted more than 250 trees in 5 cities through our Community ReLeaf program, and 12,000 tree seedlings through our American ReLeaf program.
We kicked off the season on October 7th, we were in Boston, Massachusetts planting 100 trees with Bank of America and our friends from Speak for the Trees Boston. This planting was to ensure access and enjoyment of natural treasures to present and future Boston residents.
On October 16th, we headed to Hartford, Connecticut, where we partnered with 90 enthusiastic employees from Travelers to plant 35 trees in a public park, all to create a stronger root system for the downtown area. While we were there, we also helped clean up the park. It was great to have Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin with us to kick off the event. We are looking forward to going back next year to taste some of the fruit from the apple trees the group planted.
A few days later, we joined Travelers, Plant People, the USFWS, and 1,500 volunteers in planting 12,000 seedlings, all in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of southern Texas. The trees provide habitat for native wildlife, such as the endangered ocelot and over 400 species of migratory birds. Only 10 percent of the forest remains and that is why we are there to stop additional threats to the forest and restore the forest to full health and long-term resilience.
On October 22nd in Detroit, Michigan we partnered with Ilmor Engineering and the Greening of Detroit to plant trees around the Adams Butzel Recreation Complex. These trees will work to absorb stormwater flow and help to reduce flooding.
American Forests and Bank of America were in Houston on October 19th to plant trees at J. R. Harris Elementary School. The event aligns with the goal of American Forests, Bank of America and the City of Houston to create Tree Equity—trees in every part of every city, not just high-income neighborhoods.
In Oakland, California, we partnered with Urban ReLeaf, volunteer attendees from the VERGE 19 Conference, and Clif Bar to plant 20 trees in Oakland’s downtown area. Our president and CEO also provided his expert perspective in a breakout session, and later on a speaker panel at the conference.
One of Miami’s most fragile beaches, Virginia Key Beach South, received a new look on October 26th, after representatives from our team, Coca-Cola Beverages Florida and Million Trees Miami planted trees and other vegetation to benefit the Florida city’s wildlife and people. U.S. Congresswoman Donna Shalala also attended the event and shared her support.
More than 60 volunteers spent the morning planting 50 trees that will provide shelter and food for wildlife. They, too, planted 1,100 sea oats that will help stabilize sand dunes that have been severely damaged during tropical storms. Virginia Key Beach South is nestled along the Rickenbacker Causeway, an area maintained by Miami-Dade County Parks’ Causeway Division.
Planting trees is one of our biggest goals at American Forests. We strive to plant 3 billion by 2030. It’s with partners like those we worked with this tree planting season that we will be able to get that done.