150 Projects Exceed National NeighborWoods Month Expectations

Second Annual October Event to Draw 13,000 Volunteers, Plant 5,600 Trees
Beltsville, MD (October 25, 2006)- In 46 cities around the country and in Canada, local nonprofit organizations and their partners will participate in this year’s National NeighborWoods Month, organized by the national Alliance for Community Trees (ACT) and sponsored by The Home Depot Foundation and the USDA Forest Service. Throughout October 2006, these organizations will stage over 150 events, plant more than 5,600 trees and recruit more than 13,000 volunteers to improve urban communities. Tree-planting events, tree maintenance and stewardship programs, training activities and educational seminars are among the projects planned for NeighborWoods Month.

A National NeighborWoods Program Grant supported by The Home Depot Foundation will enable several Gulf Coast organizations to kick off a large-scale tree-canopy restoration effort in Jefferson and Orleans parishes, hard hit by last year’s hurricanes. Metairie and New Orleans, La., will host events October 20, 21 and 28 that include planting 775 trees with the assistance of partners in the public, private and philanthropic sectors.
“NeighborWoods Month is a way to draw attention to the regreening movement that’s flowering across the United States,” said Alice Ewen Walker, ACT’s executive director. “Several major cities have recently committed to planting millions of trees in an effort to revitalize communities, reduce energy consumption and costs, improve water quality, combat global warming, and capture the many other benefits a full tree canopy provides.” Among these cities are:
* Los Angeles, which just initiated a Million Tree Campaign;
* Baltimore, which intends to double its tree canopy from 20 to 40 percent;
* Indianapolis, which will plant 100,000 trees over the next 10 years;
* The Sacramento region, which will plant 150,000 trees and steward 5 million trees through its Greenprint program; and
* Denver, which recently announced a 20 year goal to plant 1 million new trees.
As further proof of the popular momentum in support of tree canopy restoration, ACT’s National NeighborWoods network grew by more than 30 percent in the last year. Since its founding in 1993, ACT’s 96 member organizations have planted more than 7.8 million city trees by engaging more than 450,000 volunteers. “National NeighborWoods Month offers an opportunity to celebrate the enormous impact that volunteers are making nationwide by planting and caring for trees in their communities,” Walker said.
Kelly Caffarelli, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation, said, “The Home Depot Foundation believes that trees are essential to a supportive, healthy community. “We believe trees are an untapped resource that can be used to help cities deal with the pollution of our air and water, cool our city streets, reduce crime, reduce asthma and improve our overall health.”
Among the communities that will be significantly impacted by NeighborWoods Month activities are the following:
Gulf Coast: On October 27, East Biloxi and Pass Christian Reforestation Project (Biloxi, Miss.) will plant 322 native trees at six different sites. On October 28, additional trees will be planted in Jean Lafitte on the hurricane-impacted grounds of Town Hall. Contact Michael Knobloch, 985-447-8305.
Shreveport, La.: On October 27and 28, Shreveport Green will plant 250 trees on neighborhood streets and the major corridor in the Martin Luther King neighborhood. Contact Yvonne Lee, 318-219-1888.
Kansas City, Kan.: On October 28, Heartland Tree Alliance/Bridging the Gap will plant 50 trees at the newly constructed Heathwood Education and Activity Center (a 61-unit senior housing facility and 45,000 square foot education and activity center) and two new KaBOOM! playground sites. Contact Suzy Latare, 816-561-1061.
Houston: On October 28, Trees for Houston and Memorial High School students will plant 100 trees in the Pleasantville neighborhood of Houston. Contact Katherine Lord, 713-840-8733.
Detroit: On October 28, the grand finale to the NeighborWoods Ash Replacement Program will take place in the North Rosedale neighborhood where 130 trees will be planted. Contact Rebecca Salminen Witt, 313-237-8733.
For information on all National NeighborWoods Month events scheduled during October, visit the NeighborWoods Month or ACT.
The Alliance for Community Trees was incorporated in 1993 as a problem-solving center for leaders of community-based urban forestry groups. Its founders shared a vision of healthy, functioning urban ecosystems nurtured by a broad base of community stewards. Today, ACT is a growing network of 96 nonprofit organizations engaged in tree planting, care and education. Its members are involved in grassroots community greening, public education, policymaking, job training, environmental design and other activities that support better urban forest stewardship. Information on ACT and its members can be found at the Alliance for Community Trees.
The Home Depot Foundation was created in 2002 to further the community building goals of The Home Depot by providing additional resources to assist nonprofit organizations building affordable, efficient, and healthy homes throughout the United States and Canada. The Home Depot Foundation is dedicated to creating healthy, livable communities through the integration of affordable housing built responsibly and the preservation and restoration of community trees. Since its formation, The Home Depot Foundation has granted more than $25 million to nonprofit and government organizations throughout North America. For more information, visit The Home Depot Foundation.
For more information, contact:
Alice Ewen Walker
Alliance for Community Trees