Arbor Day Foundation Unlocks the Power of More Than 500,000 Community Trees in 2022
By Dan Lambe
In 2022, the Arbor Day Foundation announced a focus on planting trees in neighborhoods of greatest need in the United States and around the world. Those efforts led to more than 500,000 trees finding new homes in urban areas across 175 cities, all 50 states and 16 other countries. The new year-end data shows 535 successful community tree plantings in total—more than any year in the Foundation’s history.
For us, every single tree matters.
That’s why we collaborate with an extensive network of planting partners to maximize the impact of our trees. These local organizations play a vital role in helping us understand what kind of tree will address each individual community’s needs. Once those trees are in the ground, we help our planting partners establish consistent maintenance and management to ensure the trees thrive. Community members are also educated on how to care for the trees they choose to take home. We’re excited our network tree champions is growing fast, with nearly 150 partners in 2022.
These trees, while beautiful, are not solely ornamental. They are transformational. Planting trees in cities and neighborhoods helps address urban heat islands, food insecurity and unsuitable air and water quality. Reviving an urban canopy is an investment in the health of the people who call that city home.
Even more exciting, is that this feels like the beginning of something big as more stakeholders stand up and rally around the power of trees. The U.S. federal government, for example, acknowledged the urgent need to plant and protect our nation’s forests through the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. The bold legislation dedicates more than 1 billion dollars to the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry program, prioritizing projects that benefit underserved communities. This critical funding will help stakeholders reshape the landscape of neighborhoods that need it most. The Arbor Day Foundation is excited to be part of this work.
We strive to be a leading contributor to facilitating the positive results of planting trees in the right way. The Arbor Day Foundation has proudly planted more than 500 million trees around the world in our first 50 years. Now, we’re committing to the most ambitious goal we’ve ever set by planting another 500 million trees in five years.
We move toward that goal one tree at a time. And you can play a part.
Planting a tree is one of the most meaningful and significant acts a person can do for their community. The need for trees spans across the world, but the solution starts in your neighborhood.
Dan Lambe is CEO of the Arbor Day Foundation, the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.