Quantcast

Arbor Day Foundation to Plant 100 Million Trees by 2022

Popular
Happy Arbor Day! Pixabay

Today is Arbor Day. That means in just three years, America's oldest environmental celebration will turn 150, and the Arbor Day Foundation is already planning a redwood-sized birthday present. The foundation, the largest non-profit dedicated to planting trees, has announced a new goal: planting 100 million trees by 2022.

"It can be easy to take trees for granted, but they are absolutely critical to maintaining balance on our planet—supporting clean air and water, healthy food and a livable climate," Arbor Day Foundation President Dan Lambe said in a press release. "With an estimated 18 million acres of forests lost globally each year, that balance is being shaken."


The new Time for Trees initiative, officially launched March 20, is the foundation's largest tree-planting undertaking yet.

Trees are a source of shade and beauty in and of themselves, but they also have many important benefits for the whole environment, the foundation pointed out, including helping to combat climate change. The website outlined some of what the 100 million new trees will do:

  1. Absorb 8 million tons of carbon, the equivalent of taking 6.2 million cars off the road for a year.
  2. Filter 15,850 tons of particulate matter from the air.
  3. Filter and catch 7.1 billion cubic meters of water, enough to fill a water bottle for each person on earth every day for five years.
  4. Remove 578,000 tons of chemicals from the air.

The foundation hopes to plant trees in a variety of ecosystems, from tropical rainforests to towns and cities that have lost trees to extreme weather, diseases and development. It will work with corporate, community and individual partners, and hopes to get five million more tree planters involved. Its efforts will be funded and promoted by an Evergreen Alliance whose members include Bank of America, Bass Pro Shops & Cabela's, Brambles | CHEP, Church & Dwight, Exelon, FedEx, The Hershey Company, International Paper, Marriott International, Mary Kay, Oncor, PwC, Target, TD Bank, UPS, Verizon and Wyndham Destinations.

"By restoring tree loss around the world, we're making a significant investment in our collective future—paving the way for the health and well-being of people in this and future generations," Lambe said. "We cannot wait another day to take action—the time for trees is now."

The initiative is definitely in the spirit of the original holiday. The first Arbor Day was conceived in Nebraska by newspaper editor and former Nebraska territory governor Julius Sterling Morton. He arranged for one million trees to be planted in Nebraska on April 10, 1872. After the first celebration, the day spread to other states, and was moved in Nebraska to April 22 in honor of Morton's birthday 13 years after the first celebration, according to Politico.

In 1972, Richard Nixon declared it a national holiday to be celebrated the last Friday in April, CNN reported. It is now honored around the world.

"Arbor Day is not like other holidays," Morton wrote of his creation, according to Politico. "Each of those reposes on the past, while Arbor Day proposes for the future."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

California Condor at soaring at the Grand Canyon. Pavliha / iStock / Getty Images

North America's largest bird passed an important milestone this spring when the 1,000th California condor chick hatched since recovery efforts began, NPR reported Sunday.

Read More Show Less
The Roloway monkey has been pushed closer to extinction. Sonja Wolters / WAPCA / IUCN

The statistics around threatened species are looking grim. A new report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has added more than 9,000 new additions to its Red List of threatened species, pushing the total number of species on the list to more than 105,000 for the first time, according to the Guardian.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / Getty Images

The campaign to re-elect President Donald Trump has found a new way to troll liberals and sea turtles.

Read More Show Less
Night long exposure photograph of wildifires in Santa Clarita, California. FrozenShutter / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristy Dahl

Last week, UCS released Killer Heat, a report analyzing how the frequency of days with a dangerously hot heat index — the combination of temperature and humidity the National Weather Service calls the "feels like" temperature — will change in response to the global emissions choices we make in the coming decades.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A Zara store in Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Timahaowemi / CC BY-SA 3.0

Green is the new black at Zara.

The Spanish fast fashion behemoth has made a bold move to steer its industry to a more environmentally friendly future for textiles. Inditex, Zara's parent company, announced that all the polyester, cotton and linen it uses will be sustainably produced by 2025, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD

Whether you enjoy running recreationally, competitively, or as part of your overall wellness goals, it's a great way to improve your heart health.

Read More Show Less
Text from the plaque that will mark the site where Ok glacier once was. Rice University

By Andrea Germanos

A climate change victim in Iceland is set to be memorialized with a monument that underscores the urgent crisis.

Read More Show Less