Planting Purpose with the Arbor Day Foundation
Guest post by Dalila Wilson-Scott, Senior Vice President of Community Impact for Comcast Corporation.
Comcast Cares Day is the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer effort and a powerful representation of Comcast NBCUniversal’s year-round commitment to community service. I have the privilege of working with a team to lead this effort, and this year for the first time, one of our focuses was working with the Arbor Day Foundation to restore communities devastated by natural disasters. Its mission is simple: to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. And that is what we did on April 21, 2018 in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation at four different sites across the U.S. Each project had a different purpose and a unique story.
- In Miami, Comcast NBCUniversal and community volunteers helped to renovate Sweetwater Elementary school with trees and greenery. South Florida had been devastated by Hurricane Irma and new trees were needed to replace those that were lost during the storm. These new trees will help slow wind speeds and make neighborhoods safer.
- In Houston, in the Halls Bayou, 260 trees were planted to create a new park that had previously been flooded by Hurricane Harvey.
- In Denver, more than 200 trees were given away and planted in a low-to-moderate income neighborhood. The loss of tree canopy in this region is expected to be high due to the Emerald Ash Borer—an ash tree killing bug that will eventually decimate Denver’s 14,000 ash trees.
- In Northern California, numerous volunteers and property owners joined Comcast NBCUniversal employees in replanting a neighborhood that lost over 90% of its homes during last fall’s wildfires, including the Tubbs Fire, which was the most destructive wildfire in California history. The replanting site was in an open space in Santa Rosa that backed up to numerous homes that will be rebuilt in the coming years. The trees are a reminder that healing the earth is one of the first parts of what comes after a major wildfire.
The trees that were planted as part of Comcast Cares Day – 1,050 in all – and distributed by Comcast employees, and the community volunteers who assisted them, will help bring millions of dollars in benefits to these towns and cities. As we look to the future, these trees will grow tall and remind us of what can be accomplished when we support our communities.
Since 2008, Comcast NBCUniversal and Arbor Day Foundation have partnered together on initiatives across the country, including the iconic Rockefeller Tree Lighting, to help raise awareness about the importance of planting trees. Each December, millions of viewers are educated on the positive impact trees make in our lives and on the environment during the live broadcast and through educational campaigns. Over the last four years, Comcast NBCUniversal has helped Arbor Day Foundation plant 100,000 trees in national forests and disaster-stricken areas through the company’s Green is Universal initiative, and we look forward to continuing our partnership in this important effort.