End of Year Message from ACTrees

College Park, MD (December 19, 2011)- During the November meeting of the Board of Directors and our Annual Member Meeting, ACTrees leadership reflected on the many reasons for our successful 2011. The primary reason is ACTrees’ network of member organizations and their remarkable leaders and volunteers.

These individuals dedicate themselves to educating the public, corporations, business owners and government leaders on the value of planting and maintaining trees. They see the incredible benefits of planting trees–some are visible and immediate, most are long-term and sustainable!

NeighborWoods Month PlantingOur member organizations and program partners demonstrate the value of trees every day. They are community leaders who know that planting trees is a logical and necessary investment strategy for building sustainable communities–from the economic impact of greening neighborhoods during National NeighborWoodsTM Month; to cost savings thanks to stormwater absorption; to the natural, healthy environments created for local residents.

The success we shared with our network this year was due to several important programs and partnerships.

  • ACTrees launched its seventh annual National NeighborWoodsTM Month, during which 27,000 volunteers planted 40,500 trees in cities and towns across the United States.
  • ACTrees continued its successful federal partnership with the USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program.
  • ACTrees expanded its ongoing corporate partnership with CSX Transportation and Siemens Corporation. These partners provided grant funding and engaged their employees in our member organization projects from Worcester, MA, to Des Moines, IA; Norfolk, VA, to San Diego, CA; and many communities in between.
  • New corporate partnerships were established with Boise ASPEN and TD Bank. These partners provided employee volunteers and grant funding for significant tree planting projects to improve neighborhoods in Indianapolis; Boston; Philadelphia; and Jacksonville, FL.
  • A major new $125,000 grant program for ACTrees members with the USDA People’s Garden Initiative to explore and deepen the connections between trees and urban agriculture
  • Corporate Partners Bartlett Tree Experts, J. Frank Schmidt & Co., and Redwood Creek partnered with ACTrees to support training, mission advocacy and lobbying opportunities, grants and travel scholarship.

NeighborWoods Month PlantingAround the country, we’ve seen exciting signs of growth as cities and residents learn more about making investments in their communities by planting trees. As the only national organization representing the united voice of hundreds of community tree-planting organizations, Alliance for Community Trees is uniquely positioned to shape the national dialogue and focus attention on the importance of community trees.

Remember to renew your membership in ACTrees for 2012. Visit ACTrees.org and click on “Donate Now” to pay your annual dues. Please note that the annual dues cycle is January-December and your dues are based on the gross revenue of your nonprofit or the annual budget of your government department which manages education and local tree-care and tree planting.

In 2012, ACTrees will build on this year’s successes:

  • ACTrees will increase grants from our corporate and Federal partners to our member organizations.
  • With a new USDA “Peoples Gardens” grant, ACTrees will provide grants of up to $5,000 to our member organizations in good standing that are engaged in community gardens through planting trees! The total grant pool is $125,000.
  • Our popular Policy Summit will be this March in Washington, DC.
  • The ACTrees.org website is expanding and will be re-launched on a new platform in January. It will continue to be a valuable resource for our ever-growing membership.
  • Members will meet in November for the ACTrees Annual Member Meeting with our NGO partners in community forestry.

E-mail Subcribe@ACTrees.org to get updates on these exciting programs.

On behalf of all the staff and board of Alliance for Community Trees, best wishes for a peaceful holiday season and a happy New Year.

Carrie Gallagher
Executive Director