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April 29, 2010

Planting Seeds of Change: ABA One Million Trees Project’s First Year

This Arbor Day celebrates the first anniversary of the _ One Million Trees Project, an ambitious multi-year effort to plant one million trees by the end of 2014.

Organized by the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, the project aims to raise the nation’s awareness of the multiple benefits of trees and their role in helping to fight climate change.  “Countless studies have shown that trees are essential—and endangered,” said John Cruden, section chair.  “Trees purify the air, cool their surroundings, and enrich and stabilize the soil.  Yet the tree canopy of the United States is being displaced by deforestation and development. Programs like ours are an easy way for us to help reverse the decline of trees in this country.”

The project marked its first year during the section’s 39th Annual Conference on Environmental Law in South Jordan City, Utah, where 30 ABA volunteers and staff planted 150 Wood Rose tree seedlings in the Jordan River floodplain, a critical habitat for 98 species of song birds and a crucial stopover for hundreds of thousands of migrating birds.

The March 20 event was part of the Great Salt Lake Audubon Society’s Jordan River Migratory Bird Habitat Restoration Project, where section volunteers were joined by representatives of TreeUtah, one of several partners responsible for management of the floodplain. Together, they not only made a significant contribution to the restoration effort, but also advanced the tree planting challenge.

Scroll down or click here to see photos from the March 20 planting.

So far, nearly 5,000 trees have been planted on behalf of the project, but there is still a ways to go.  ABA members everywhere can help the environment and move the One Million Trees project closer to its goal by planting trees this spring and fall, prime tree planting seasons.

In addition to participating in hands-on tree planting activities in their communities, ABA members can contribute to the project by purchasing a tree through any of the program partners:

Alliance for Community Trees
Arbor Day Foundation
American Forests

The ACT website, in particular, offers a variety of ways to participate in the initiative beyond a donation, including information on tree planting activities in various local areas.

The following additional links can put interested parties in touch with local tree planting efforts in their community: www.volunteermatch.org and http://www.arborday.org/programs/volunteers/.

“A real beauty of this project is that participants making donations can designate the areas where their trees are planted,” said Cruden.  “There is also a reporting form on the SEER website, so if someone plants a tree without going through our partner organizations, their effort can be included in the project’s count.”

For more information, visit the ABA One Million Trees Project website.

TreeUtah Planting March 2010
Learn More About:  Environmental Law