Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

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

People visit Jacksonville Beach on July 4, 2020 in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Public health experts have attributed Florida's growing coronavirus caseload to people gathering in crowds. Sam Greenwood / Getty Images

Florida broke the national record for the most new coronavirus cases reported in a single day on Sunday, with a total of 15,299.

Read More Show Less
Marco Bottigelli / Moment / Getty Images

By James Shulmeister

Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change.

If you have a question you'd like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz

Read More Show Less
Luxy Images / Getty Images

By Jo Harper

Investment in U.S. offshore wind projects are set to hit $78 billion (€69 billion) this decade, in contrast with an estimated $82 billion for U.S. offshore oil and gasoline projects, Wood Mackenzie data shows. This would be a remarkable feat only four years after the first offshore wind plant — the 30 megawatt (MW) Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island — started operating in U.S. waters.

Read More Show Less
Giacomo Berardi / Unsplash

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed both the strengths and limitations of globalization. The crisis has made people aware of how industrialized food production can be, and just how far food can travel to get to the local supermarket. There are many benefits to this system, including low prices for consumers and larger, even global, markets for producers. But there are also costs — to the environment, workers, small farmers and to a region or individual nation's food security.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Joe Leech

The human body comprises around 60% water.

It's commonly recommended that you drink eight 8-ounce (237-mL) glasses of water per day (the 8×8 rule).

Read More Show Less

By Michael Svoboda

The enduring pandemic will make conventional forms of travel difficult if not impossible this summer. As a result, many will consider virtual alternatives for their vacations, including one of the oldest forms of virtual reality – books.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Thursday accused NOAA of ignoring its own scientists' findings about the endangerment of the North Atlantic right whale. Lauren Packard / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Julia Conley

As the North Atlantic right whale was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's list of critically endangered species Thursday, environmental protection groups accusing the U.S. government of bowing to fishing and fossil fuel industry pressure to downplay the threat and failing to enact common-sense restrictions to protect the animals.

Read More Show Less