A Prothonotary Warbler in Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: USFWS Midwest

Washington, D.C. (April 23, 2018) — American Forests and Alcoa Foundation announce nine new grant recipients in year two of a three-year partnership to enhance biodiversity and combat climate change in key areas across the globe.

Newly funded projects will restore at-risk tree species and help cities address climate change by engaging 4,500 volunteers in tree plantings and other forest restoration activities in 13 locations, such as:

In Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais, BRA, Associação Poços Sustentável will improve a 1.8-acre urban greenspace by planting 30 different Atlantic Forest tree species. The site currently has exposed soil and is being impacted by erosion. Restoration will stabilize the soil, reduce urban heat island effect by providing shade and thermal comfort, and demonstrate the benefits and beauty of landscaping with native species.

In Madrid and communities along Spain’s northwest coast, Ecoherencia will engage more than 400 volunteers in tree planting projects over two years. These projects will help forests close to communities recover from recent wildfires, and allow for continued restoration of the holm oak in Sierra de Guadarrama National Park. The holm oak is the national tree of Spain, but has been overtaken by invasive trees in areas of the Park.

In Indiana, USA, Friends of Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will restore 55 acres of bottomland hardwood forest on former agricultural land in Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge. A variety of oak and hickory species will be planted that will benefit federal and state wildlife species of concern including evening, Indiana, and long-eared bats, barn and short-eared owls, and the copperbelly water snake.

In Washington and Oregon, USA, the U.S. Forest Service will collect whitebark pine seed from disease-resistant trees and use them to grow tree seedlings needed for future forest restoration. Whitebark pine is endangered in Canada and a candidate for Endangered Species Act protection in the United States, due to threats including a non-native fungal disease (whitepine blister rust), wildfire and climate change. Availability of disease-resistant whitebark pine seedlings is a key limiting factor to range-wide recovery.

These and other new projects add to ongoing restoration work previously funded through the American Forests and Alcoa Foundation Partnership in Iceland, Quebec, Canada and Pennsylvania, USA. Early efforts in 2018 planted 75,000 trees over 175 acres with the help of 2,500 volunteers.

“Alcoa Foundation believes that the best chance we have of progressing towards a healthier environment is through partnership and collaboration, and our program with American Forests demonstrates this powerfully,” said Rosa García Pineiro, Alcoa Foundation President and Sustainability Vice President. “We are excited to build on the momentum of the first year of this program to continue the important work of environmental restoration in communities around the world.”

Since 2011, Alcoa Foundation and American Forests have worked together to enhance and protect forests in 14 countries, restoring wildlife habitat and combating climate change by utilizing forests to augment carbon storage and purify water and air. Through the dedication of Alcoa employees, local communities and partners, more than 1.6 million trees have been planted.

“Our partnership with the Alcoa Foundation exemplifies the commitment and collaboration we need to work toward natural, high impact climate change solutions,” said Scott Steen, president & CEO of American Forests. “These newly funded projects in year two of our current three-year partnership address a wide range of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time. Alcoa is serious about making a difference.”



American Forests inspires and advances the conservation of forests, which are essential to life. We do this by protecting and restoring threatened forest ecosystems, promoting and expanding urban forests, and increasing understanding of the importance of forests. Founded in 1875, American Forests is the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country and has served as a catalyst for many key milestones in the conservation movement, including the founding of the U.S. Forest Service, the national forest system and thousands of forest ecosystem restoration projects and public education efforts. Since 1990, American Forests has planted more than 50 million trees in all 50 states and nearly 50 countries, resulting in cleaner air and drinking water, restored habitat for wildlife and fish, and the removal of millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


Alcoa Foundation’s predecessor, currently known as Legacy Alcoa Foundation (and formerly known as Alcoa Foundation), was founded in 1952 as one of the few endowed corporate foundations in the United States. As a result of the separation of Alcoa Inc. into Alcoa Corporation and Arconic Inc. in November 2016, two new foundations were formed, into which the assets of Legacy Alcoa Foundation were transferred. One of the newly formed foundations, known now as Alcoa Foundation, is the foundation associated with Alcoa Corporation. Today, Alcoa Foundation invests where Alcoa Corporation has a presence, providing grants that contribute to environmental excellence around the world, particularly in the areas of biodiversity conservation and climate change research. Learn more at alcoafoundation.com  and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.


Lea Sloan | Vice President of Communications | 202.370.4509 (direct) | 202.330.3253 (mobile) | lsloan@americanforests.org