Beneficiary Stories

Lost Pines Forest Community Tree Recovery Campaign

In 2011, wildfires devastated the Lost Pines Forest of Bastrop, Texas. The Bastrop County Complex fire was the most destructive wildfire in Texas history. Two people were killed by the fire, which destroyed 1,673 homes, 32,000 acres of land, 96% of Bastrop State Park, and inflicted an estimated $325 million of insured property damage.

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Credit: Joe Wolf, Flickr

The Arbor Day Foundation, through the generous support of our members and supporters, is working with our on-the-ground partners to bring back the loblolly pine trees that made the Lost Pines Forest one of the most unique and beautiful places in the world, and to bring hope and healing to the people that call Bastrop home.

Robert Horton, a retired real estate broker, has long embraced the importance of community. When his 10 acre property was ravaged by the fire that caused enormous damage to Bastrop, Texas, Robert was devastated. “While Bastrop is just a little bitty spot on the map to others, for us who live here, it is important to us. It is home.”

Recovery was top-of-mind to Robert and his neighbors in Bastrop, a community closely identified with the local Lost Pines Forest that was badly burned by the fire. The Arbor Day Foundation, working with partners on the ground, help Robert and Bastrop to restore hope and begin to heal by planting trees. 5,000 trees were planted on Robert’s 10 acres. He praised the Arbor Day Foundation and its partners. “They are a resource that is so valuable that you can’t put a number on it.”

full-08[1]What does the Arbor Day Foundation Community Tree Recovery program mean to Robert Horton?  “It means reclaiming my property.  I moved here for the forest, and now the forest is gone.  But everyone who puts one tree back in the ground helps to bring the Lost Pines back.”

When natural disasters strike, the loss of trees is devastating. Due to this great need for trees as a key component of community rebuilding and recovery, the Arbor Day Foundation developed the Community Tree Recovery Program.  This program is working to create a systematic response to disasters in communities nationwide. It helps restore a healthy community tree canopy and offers a positive engagement opportunity for residents across the country that want to be involved and support community tree recovery efforts.

In coordination and cooperation with state forestry agencies and key local partners, the Arbor Day Foundation brings national awareness and identifies financial resources to support the distribution of trees to communities in need.

Continued generous donations made by our members and supporters allow the Arbor Day Foundation to provide ongoing support to many important Community Tree Recovery campaigns. This coming spring provides new opportunities for restoring a sense of hope to communities recovering from disaster as the program continues to provide trees to areas devastated by hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes.

full-01[1]The Arbor Day Foundation continues to plant trees and restore hope through Arbor Day Foundation Community Tree Recovery Program campaigns in Alabama, Colorado, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey and Texas. By working closely with our Foundation partners to replant trees, we are also bringing healing and hope to local communities, families and individuals.

 

Arbor Day Specialty Coffee is A Unique and Memorable Holiday Gift that Gives Back

Did You Know  Every Cup Saves Irreplaceable Rain Forest and Supports Coffee Farming Families?

Celebrate this year’s holiday season with friends and loved ones while supporting conservation and tree planting with the help of the Arbor Day Foundation.

The Arbor Day Foundation offers a unique holiday giving opportunity with conservation benefits that will endure for generations, all made possible through the purchase of quality, sustainable, shade-grown Arbor Day Specialty Coffee.figure-shade-grown[1]

Protecting rain forests and farmers, Arbor Day Specialty Coffee is part of the Arbor Day Foundation Rain Forest Rescue program. Each cup helps to preserve irreplaceable rain forests that are home to many plant and animal species which are vital to our way of life. In addition, the purchase of Arbor Day Specialty Coffee helps to ensure a fair wage and access to healthcare and education for the coffee farming families in Latin America.

One example of rain forest farmers and families benefitting from Arbor Day Specialty coffee is that of Artemia Rojas Castillo. Artemia supports her Peruvian family by farming shade-grown coffee. She began growing coffee with her husband on their tree-covered farm at the foot of a mountain in Cajones, Peru, more than two decades ago. They worked hard together building their farm and nurturing their coffee plants in the shade of the rain forest so the crop could sustain them and their five children.

figure-artemia[1]When her husband passed away, Artemia continued on with coffee farming. Because of the higher price she earns for the superior shade-grown crop, she is able to support her family. “For us, it is a very important plant,” she said. “It brings us everything. We have all seen this. To take care of our children and educate them. It is the most important plant that we have.”

She sees coffee not only as a way to support her family. It is also vital to her community. “For all of the community, for them it is life. It is the plant that does everything for us. It’s food, it’s happiness–all of it. It is life.”

Artemia has a clear appreciation for the role the rain forest trees play in her coffee farm–shielding the plants from the harsh summer sun, providing nutrients and allowing the coffee to mature slowly for a richer flavor. She also understands the need to maintain the rain forest from a larger ecological standpoint as well. She spoke of the importance of conserving the trees and how her land is rich with birds that she enjoys hearing while she farms.

Two of Artemia’s children remain with her today, working beside her in the coffee fields. They will carry on the tradition of growing coffee under the canopy of the rain forest.

Arbor Day Specialty Coffee helps protect the planet’s critical remaining rain forests and the communities that call them home. Arbor Day Specialty Coffee makes a measureable difference to people and the planet.

Give-A-Tree® Cards – A Unique and Memorable Holiday Gift

Every Card Plants a Tree

Celebrate this year’s holiday season with friends and loved ones while supporting conservation and tree planting with the help of the Arbor Day Foundation.

Returning for the fifth season in a row, Give-A-Tree® cards from the Arbor Day Foundation offer a unique holiday giving opportunity with conservation benefits that will endure for generations. For the first time this year, Give-A-Tree cards can be purchased individually and with customized text.

Bright and beautiful Give-A-Tree Cards from the Arbor Day Foundation help bring America’s National Forests back to life by planting a tree in honor of the recipient. The Arbor Day Foundation will send the gift-giver the cards to sign and give to their family, friends, customers, and associates. Each card does more than send a wish. Give-A-Tree Cards are a gift that lasts a lifetime.

GAT Happy HolidaysGAT seasons greetings

 

 

 

A selection of dozens of Give-A-Tree Holiday cards is available at http://shop.arborday.org/category.aspx?zcid=158

Faces in Forestry

Bob Roney:  Park Ranger, Master Naturalist, and lifelong steward of the land

Bob Roney has worked in Yosemite National Park for parts of six decades. The park enthralls him as much today as when he first set foot there in 1967.bob roney

“It’s like falling in love really,” he says. “You know when you first meet somebody and you just want to learn everything you can about them — it’s been that way for me for forty years.”

Learn more about Bob’s work and love for Yosemite:

• Visit Ranger Bob’s Facebook page to see stunning nature photography of Yosemite

• Listen to this NPR story to hear an interview with Bob and his Yosemite sound recordings

Street Trees Boost Home Sales Price

Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal wrote about the value of street trees — those planted between the sidewalk and the road — in increasing the sales price of a home.

houses prop valueIn the study featured — “Trees in the city: Valuing street trees in Portland, Ore.” — 2,608 single family home sales in Portland, Oregon, from July 1, 2006 to April 26, 2007 were analyzed.

Key findings from the research:

  • Homes with street trees sold for $7,130 more, on average, and 1.7 days more quickly
  • Neighboring houses within 100 feet of street trees sold for $1,688 more each, on average
  • The sale premium of having street trees was the same as adding 129 square feet of finished space