Tomorrow is Make a Difference Day and reading the many stories of people volunteering their time and effort to help improve their corner of the world has got me thinking about the many American Forests supporters who have pitched in to help us in our mission of protecting and restoring forests. So, today a note of thanks: Here are just a few of the ways you have made a difference for our forests over the past 12 months:

In mid-December last year, volunteers joined American Forests, the Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation and the Arlington Tree Stewards to plant trees along Arlington, Va.’s Bluemont Junction Trail. Just look at those smiling faces!

Photo: Megan Higgs/American Forests
Photo: Megan Higgs/American Forests

This summer, some of you joined us In Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming to attach patches of beetle repellent to whitebark pine trees that are resistant to disease as part of our Endangered Western Forests initiative. By protecting trees that are resistant to one threat from another, volunteers helped to protect this keystone species that serves as an important food for grizzly bears, Clark’s nutcrackers and many other animals. Plus, everyone had a fun time out in the fresh air of the American West!

Volunteers hike to one of the sites where they applied phermone pouches to adult whitebark pine.
Volunteers hike to one of the sites to apply pheromone patches to adult whitebark pine. Credit: Jami Westerhold/American Forests

And, throughout October, volunteers from our partner Bank of America have joined us in cities across the country to plant trees as part of our Community ReLeaf program. We’ve planted in Asbury Park, Detroit and Atlanta, and we’ll be in Nashville and Pasadena before the year is through.

New Jersey Tree Foundation Director Lisa Simms demonstrates tree planting for Bank of America volunteers in Asbury Park, N.J.
New Jersey Tree Foundation Director Lisa Simms demonstrates tree planting for the volunteers. Credit: Melinda Housholder/American Forests

So, thanks to everyone who makes a difference for forests and communities!