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.


Cheyenne, WY

Cheyenne has received Tree City USA designation for 32 years and was awarded the Growth Award 16 times.


Photo Courtesy of: Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce

Home to 62,000 people, Cheyenne is a cozy community with western flair, boasting the world’s largest outdoor rodeo. In addition to the array of western entertainment, Cheyenne also fosters an active lifestyle with more than 600 acres of park land (and tree canopy coverage of 24%) and 19,315 trees to explore.

Cheyenne’s urban forest saves the city more than $55,000 annually in stormwater management costs and accumulates $186,000 in energy savings. If you’re looking to enjoy fresh air then you’ll appreciate the 2.3 tons of pollutants that are removed annually, saving the city $8,000.

Whether you’re enjoying a stroll through the farmers market or a bike ride through the greenbelt, the city’s urban forest is something worth enjoying. In fact, it is valued at $34,596,242.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!



Anchorage, AK

Anchorage has received Tree City USA designation for 8 years and was awarded the Growth Award eight times.

anchorage akHome to a population of 300,000 people, Anchorage offers breathtaking landscapes and unique wildlife not found elsewhere in North America. Forestlands are essential to the health and sustainability of the environment to the Anchorage community. In fact, the city has 59% tree canopy coverage, with 75% of that comprised from state parks and greenbelts.

Anchorage has dedicated nearly 14,000 acres to parks and greenbelts, including Chugach State Park—one of the four largest state parks in the US— and developed more than 250 miles of trails. In addition, the city has planted an estimated 30,000 street trees.

Anchorage’s forests remove 141 pounds of air pollutants annually and intercept nearly one million gallons of stormwater runoff. The city’s surroundings are adequate reason to relish the open air; whether you’re hiking through the Chugach Mountains or biking along trails, Anchorage inspires you to explore its forests.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!


Boulder City, NV

Boulder City has received Tree City USA designation for 18 years.

boulder city nvWith a population of 15,000, Boulder City offers a quaint escape from the chaos of its neighbor to the northwest. Despite a desert climate, locals can stay cool under any of the city’s 1,300 trees, creating tree canopy coverage of 35%.

For tourists looking to take a break from Las Vegas, Boulder City offers hiking trails and outdoor sports, giving more reason to visit. The city’s urban forest saves the community almost $5,000 in air quality improvement annually, removing .3 tons of air pollutants.

In addition, Boulder City’s trees save the community as much as $3,000 in stormwater management by removing nearly 700,000 gallons in stormwater runoff every year. Homeowners appreciate the increase in property value, with benefits reaching $100,000. The replacement value of Boulder City’s urban forest would cost more than $5 million.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!


Mandeville, LA

Mandeville has received Tree City USA designation for 19 years and has been awarded the Growth Award six times.

7 seven sisters live oakMandeville offers locals a blend of urban living and wooded landscapes. Located north of New Orleans and accessible via the world’s largest bridge—Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge—Mandeville embraces a more serene lifestyle than its southern neighbor. Home to more than 12,000 residents and 151,000 trees, Mandeville demonstrates that it’s possible for communities of any size to have a dense urban forest.

Residents can take shade under the city’s 41 percent tree canopy to enjoy some of the community’s lakeside views or enjoy fresh air. Mandeville’s tree canopy removes more than 103 tons of air pollution annually and reduces energy costs from residential buildings by $81,000.

Additionally, Mandeville harbors the country’s oldest Southern live oak tree—Seven Sisters Oak. The tree is estimated to be 1,500 years old and reaches more than 68 ft in height.

Mandeville’s tree canopy is valued at $766 million. As we’ve described, placing an importance on community forestry benefits the city in many ways.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!



Sacramento, CA

Sacramento has been designated a Tree City USA community for 37 years and Growth Award Recipient 10 years.

Sacramento CAWith a population of nearly 500,000, the capital of California is making a name for itself in urban and community forestry. The city’s urban forestry section manages more than 100,000 trees. The city estimates that by doubling its urban canopy, its trees will reduce air pollution by as much as 50 percent, removing as much as 10 million pounds of air pollutants annually.

With a tree canopy coverage at 17 percent, some estimate that the city has more trees per capita than any other major city in the world[1]

Local non-profit The Sacramento Tree Foundation has contributed to the city’s urban forest tremendously, planting 13,000 trees annually on private property in conjunction with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District —a recognized Tree Line USA for 14 years—and the help of volunteers.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!


Hawaii and Texas Celebrate Arbor Day in November

ArborWhile the National Arbor Day observance is celebrated on the last Friday in April, many states and municipalities have implemented state or locally recognized Arbor Days that reflect the best time for planting in their region. Hawaii and Texas celebrate Arbor Day the first Friday of November, which this year is Friday, November 7.


Maui—a designated Tree City USA community for 37 years—will celebrate Arbor Day cyanea superba hawaii treewith a tree giveaway. Maui Nui Botanical Gardens will be hosting the 11th annual 1,000 Hawaiian Trees giveaway. The event is sponsored by the County of Maui Department of Water Supply, Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program, Maui Electric, and Maui Nui Botanical Gardens. The tree giveaway will offer free demonstrations on proper tree care and water-saving techniques.

Honolulu —a designated Tree City USA community for 33 years and Growth Award recipient for two years—will celebrate Arbor Day with a tree planting and giveaway. Hawaiian Electric and its partners will give away 2,700 trees and shrubs at six locations, including Honolulu.


Forth Worth—a designated a Tree City USA community for 35 years and Growth Award recipient for 14 years—will celebrate Arbor Day with a tree presentation about Lake Worth, celebrating the lake’s anniversary. The presentation will cover the history of the lake and stories about the lake and its surroundings.tree sappling tx

San Antonio— a designated a Tree City USA community for 24 years—will celebrate Arbor Day at Eisenhower Park with a tree-K fun run followed by a ceremonial tree planting, tree demonstrations and information booths. Attendees will be able to leave with a free tree seedling. The event is sponsored by the Alamo Forest Partnership, City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation department, and City of San Antonio Animal Care Services Department.

We Live in a Connected World

More than a century ago, noted conservation leader John Muir said, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to the rest of the universe.”

We live in a connected world. Certainly today, with cell phones, the Internet and Facebook, you might say people are more connected with each other than ever.

But as I recall that long-ago quote from John Muir, I think of examples of how people are connected to Arbor Day Foundation members and supporters in a different way. We are connected through the heart…caring and supporting others, sometimes on the other side of the world…as we carry out our shared mission of inspiring people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.

I recall the story of Danielle Gift who as a young child began loving trees when she nurtured the 10 baby trees her parents received from the Arbor Day Foundation. Her connection to those Arbor Day Foundation trees years ago led to a career as a professional forester in New York City today, where she cares for trees enjoyed by millions of fellow citizens.

Julio Fernandez

Julio Fernandez Aguilar

I recall the story of Julio Fernandez Aguilar who we met high in the Andes’ rain forests of Peru. Julio is a coffee farmer, enthusiastically planting trees to reduce erosion, improve the soil and establish a lush canopy to protect his shade-grown coffee bushes. Foundation members supporting our Rain Forest Rescue program are connected to Julio and his family. The program purchases his high-quality coffee beans to roast here. As we offer the beans to coffee drinkers throughout the U.S., thousands more people are connected to Julio in Peru.

women of madagascar

The Ready Women of Madagascar

In the November/December edition of Arbor Day, you’ll meet some of “The Ready Women” who live on the African island nation of Madagascar. Support from Arbor Day Foundation members is providing them with jobs to lift them from poverty as they plant thousands of fruit trees for food and to restore habitat for endangered wildlife. The connection we share with our tree-planting mission here at home connects us directly with fellow tree-planting citizens on the other side of the world.

We live in a connected world with many examples of how our love of trees connects us with others. The trees we plant in our own backyards, and those we make possible in far-away forests seem to be “hitched” through our caring and support. Thank you for your part.

Matt Harris
Matt Harris
Chief Executive


Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis has received Tree City USA designation for 35 years and has been awarded the Growth Award 19 times.

downtown MinnKnown as the City of Lakes, it’s no wonder Minneapolis would take its urban forestry just as seriously, seeing that lakes and forests go hand in hand. With a population of nearly 400,000 residents, Minneapolis is a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts. The city’s 900,000 plus trees provide shade and urban canopy coverage of 31 percent.

Minneapolis’ fresh air—its trees sequester 8,900 tons of carbon annually— is enough incentive to bike along any of the city’s scenic trails and explore the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum or Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. The city’s urban forest saves more than $200,000 every year in energy costs. In fact, their urban forest is so integral to Minneapolis that it has a structural value of $756 million.

Is your city worthy of #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

MLB World Series Community Forestry Matchup: Kansas City V. San Francisco

This year’s MLB World Series is causing frenzy among baseball fans with two wildcard teams contending for the second time in MLB World Series history.  The Kansas City Royals are making their third World Series appearance in franchise history, while the San Francisco Giants will be competing in their 20th World Series. Let’s take a look at how well these teams compete in our community forestry matchup.

Kansas City

KCKansas City has been designated a Tree City USA community for 26 years, and was awarded the prestigious Tree City USA Growth Award  for the first time last year for its increased commitment to community forestry.

With a population of nearly 500,000, Kansas City offers locals a lively city with Midwestern charm. In addition to its rich history in jazz and a reputation for mouth-watering barbeque, Kansas City has 250 million trees with 18% tree canopy coverage, allowing plenty of opportunity to take shade outdoors.

Kansas City’s urban forest removes nearly 26,000 tons of air pollution annually and reduces residential energy costs by $14 million, giving homeowners more reason to plant trees. In fact, the city’s urban forest is valued at $93.4 billion.

San Francisco

San Francisco has been designated a Tree City USA community for 6 years.

SFHome to nearly one million people, this trendy city is more than just steep hills and famous landmarks. San Francisco has 600,000 trees covering 14% of the city, giving all the more reason for tourists to enjoy the city’s environs.

San Francisco’s urban forest removes as much as 260 tons of air pollution annually and reduces energy costs by $250,000. In addition, the city’s urban forest intercepts 516 million gallons of stormwater annually, easing the cost of and concern for flood recovery.  The city’s urban forest is valued at $1.7 billion.

Any city that prides itself on its community forestry efforts is worth celebrating. We admire Kansas City’s and San Francisco’s commitment to community forestry. Which city do you think earns the title in our MLB World Series Community Forestry Match Up?