By Austa Somvichian-Clausen, Communications Intern

Forest Canopy
Credit: Chuck Fazio, our artist-in-Residence.

There are four elements believed by many cultures to be fundamental to life: earth, air, fire and water. Though these four fundamental elements have not changed — they are constantly evolving, building and shaping the environment around us, including our world’s forests. Without a sufficient supply of water, our forests wouldn’t have the sustenance to grow. Without clean air, our forests can’t breathe. Without nutritious earth, our forests would never be able to take root. And, even without fire, many of our forests don’t have a chance at rebirth.

But, this Earth Month (the best month of the year), American Forests will not only be looking at what the elements do for our forests and the wildlife that call them home, but also what forest ecosystems contribute to the elements, to our earth and to our individual health via the elements. Without forests, millions of people wouldn’t have access to palatable drinking water. Without forests, Earth’s largest carbon sink, our air wouldn’t be nearly as clean. Without forests, the earth would erode. And, without the plant matter from forests, fire can’t contribute to the nutrition of the soil.

Air and forests fact graphic

With these facts in mind, we’ve created a hashtag that we’ll be using on all of our social media platforms this month in order to promote the importance of our forests and all that they do for us: #WeNeedForests.

Each week during Earth Month, we will be focusing on one of the four elements and how both that element, and forests, benefit from one another (and ultimately benefit you as well). We’ll be sharing some fun and surprising statistics, talking about notable restoration projects and posting educational blog posts about each element. You can join in on the conversation by following us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and by checking out our Loose Leaf blog.

We’d also love if you shared with us your favorite forest photos, just use the hashtag #WeNeedForests!

Man looking up giant sequoias
Credit: Yinghai Lu.

Another way to get involved this Earth Month is by helping us plant trees. Each year, we lose between 46,000 and 58,000 square miles of forest — which is equivalent to about 48 football fields every minute. Forests can use all the help they can get, and you can do your part by donating to American Forests to help us plant trees and restore ecosystems!

To learn more about our Earth Month campaign, visit our Elements of Forests homepage.