Invest from the Ground Up will plant 1,264 trees on February 15, 2014 at 19 locations in the Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley! This event will focus on areas of high-need such as schools, sports fields, and community centers. The SF Bay region will plant 601 trees and the San Joaquin Valley will plant 663 trees. Interested volunteers can click here for a complete regional partner listing and locations for volunteering.

Tree planting 228Program Director Connie Gallippi says, “We are very pleased to see so many communities involved in improving their quality of life and environment.  Trees provide so many great benefits to our communities. Whether it’s providing shade and breathable air at a community center in Lindsay, capturing particulate matter near a school in Oakland, bringing new life to downtown Bakersfield and the Kern River Parkway, or replacing hazardous trees in a park near an elementary school in Rohnert Park, these trees will be working hard for the communities they’re planted in. Trees really are a wise investment!”

Gallippi and her team have ensured that certified arborists will act as supervisors at all tree planting events, teaching volunteers about the benefits of trees and demonstrating proper planting standards and tree care.

With a current drought in place, some concerns have been raised about the water needs of young trees. It’s important to note that California historically recovers from drought with heavy rains, leading to landslides and flooding. By planting trees now, we can mitigate future disasters. These newly planted trees will assist in water savings via the storm water uptake rather than having precious rain go down the drain.

The benefits of trees may be obvious to some, but their direct effect on reducing heat island effect, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saving energy, cleaning water and air, providing aesthetic and habitat value, and improving public health is astounding. When the trees we plant for this statewide program are fully grown, they will remove 53.72 tons of CO2 and 12,640 pounds of pollutants every year, according to the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station.

Another 700+ trees will be planted as part of this program prior to the end of April 2014.

Funding for this project comes from the USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire). Community events held at each site on the planting day will add an educational component to the project and aims to teach the public about the benefits of trees.

Invest from the Ground Up partners include the California Urban Forests Council, Western Chapter International Society of Arboriculture, California ReLeaf, Local Government Commission, Bay Area Urban Forests Ecosystem Council, San Joaquin Valley Urban Forests Council, and the Edwards Mother Earth Foundation, in addition to the 19 Planting Partners and their local partners and sponsors. This is the third project of this nature and was previously promoted under the name United Voices for Healthier Communities; the first was in 2007 and focused on Southern California communities, the second was in 2010 and focused on Fresno, San Diego, Folsom, and the Central Coast.

For more information please visit or contact Mary Pendleton at the Western Chapter International Society of Arboriculture, or 415-571-8616.

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