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Planting trees is vital for the survival of the planet. Photo: Pixabay.

Arbor Day Foundation will plant trees in communities most in need

Through its community resilience program, the organization seeks to accelerate planting activities.

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Bank of America is joining in the important work of this organization by providing $250,000 to support community health and resiliency grants to four local environmental organizations.

The initiative, which will contribute to projects aimed at increasing environmental equity in several underserved neighborhoods and vulnerable communities in 4 U.S. cities, as well as their environmental infrastructure, adds to the efforts that the Arbor Day Foundation has been advancing for the last 50 years to plant nearly 500 million trees around the world.

"A well-established tree canopy is valuable to any community as it contributes to the natural beauty of the area and enhances the overall well-being of residents, helping to protect them from serious issues like excessive urban heat. The Community Resiliency Grant Program helps empower local tree planting organizations to unlock these and other vital benefits that trees provide for vulnerable populations,” stated Dan Lambe, Chief Executive of the Arbor Day Foundation.

How Does it Work?

Leveraging a global network of partnerships and staying true to its commitment to plant 500 million trees over the next five years, the Arbor Day Foundation facilitates projects that empower organizations of all sizes to achieve their environmental and sustainability goals.

The environmental organizations benefiting from the grant provided by Bank of America are:

  1. Georgia: Trees Atlanta
  2. California: Friends of the Urban Forest in San Francisco
  3. Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
  4. Washington, D.C.: Casey Trees

Rich Brown, Environmental Program director at Bank of America, noted:

Trees are a cost-effective tool with multiple benefits, including carbon capture, reducing urban heat island effects, protecting against stormwater runoff and helping clean the air.

Significant Contribution

This is the fourth grant that Bank of America has awarded to the Foundation's program, an initiative that promotes more green infrastructure projects based on sustainability efforts and increased resilience in urban communities most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. 

Since 2018, the financial institution has allocated resources in grants to the Arbor Day Foundation worth $1 million, also supporting the Time for Trees initiative in which the Foundation works as a member of the Evergreen Alliance. Thanks to this support, during the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day, 100 million trees were planted and 5 million planters around the world were involved.

Arbor Day Foundation thanked the bank with its Friend of the Forest Award, which recognizes companies and their leaders for their commitment to using trees and forests to achieve corporate sustainability goals and objectives.

“The Arbor Day Foundation’s program will support more sustainable and climate resilient cities and bring the natural infrastructure of trees to some of our most vulnerable and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities that are more adversely impacted by the effects of a changing climate,” added Brown.

Project Logistics

This is how the planting days will be advanced in the selected communities:

  • In Georgia, trees will be planted in communities surrounding Atlanta, with additional focus on developing community outreach operations in Clayton County and South Fulton.
  • Pennsylvania's tree planting and distribution efforts will take place in areas with low tree canopies found in predominantly African American and Hispanic communities located near the Schuylkill River in Montgomery County.
  • On the West Coast, distribution projects in underserved areas of San Francisco will incorporate a variety of tree stewardship and environmental education opportunities designed to improve community relations and curb the effects of local urban heat islands.
  • In Washington, D.C., the planting projects will take place in an area of the Oxon Run Park community, where the majority of families currently live below the poverty line and are at high risk during increasingly frequent extreme drought.

“The projects will occur over a yearlong period, with a primary focus on utilizing trees and green infrastructure to bring environmental benefits to low- and moderate-income urban communities to implement more tree planting and greenspace projects. Studies have shown a lack of access to nature can lead to physical and mental health problems caused by stress, heat, pollution, and more,” underlines Arbor Day Foundation.

About Arbor Day Foundation

Founded in 1972, the Foundation is currently the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to tree planting.

As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners, and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities around the world to become involved in its mission to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.

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