Tulsa, OK (October 26, 2009)- Up With Trees officially kicked off Tulsa’s fall tree planting season with a recent ceremony at Reed Family Center. The planting is the first in an innovative collaboration between Up With Trees and Community Action Project, designed to provide free trees to new CAP first-time homeowners.
The 40 trees planted through the new homeowner program will help combat Tulsa’s lack of safe, afford able housing and beautify neighborhoods, increase property values and reduce energy usage through strategic shade for the houses, says Up With Trees Executive Director Anna America. The project is funded by a $7,686 National NeighborWoods Grant from the Alliance for Community Trees and The Home Depot Foundation. Up With Trees was one of 10 organizations nationwide that received this highly competitive challenge grant in support of urban forestry and affordable housing partnerships.
Among those who participated in the kick off ceremony are Director of Community Development and Education Initiatives for the City of Tulsa Susan Neal, Community Action Project’s Shannon Wilkerson and some of the families who will be receiving trees through the program. After brief comments, participants planted the first tree at one of the CAP homes, located at 10918 E. Fourth Place. Volunteers will return to plant 28 trees at the Reed facility, which includes a CAP early childhood education center. Up With Trees has a separate grant to plant trees at CAP centers, America says. Those plantings are being funded through the ReGreen Tulsa program, a joint effort of Up With Trees, the City of Tulsa and the Tulsa Community Foundation to plant 20,000 trees by 2010.
“That’s been the best part of the ReGreen Tulsa program, that it has allowed us to plant at places like schools and the early childhood centers that are in desperate need of trees but haven’t been able to afford them in the past.” America says that because of ReGreen Tulsa, Up With Trees is expecting its busiest planting season ever and expects to plant at least 4,000 more trees by the end of planting season in the spring. Among those upcoming plantings are NeighborWoods projects Thursday, Oct. 22, at the homes of CAP first-time homebuyer clients around the Skelly Early Childhood Education Center, and on Saturday, Dec. 19, at sites around the Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center.
Joining residents from the neighborhood and the greater Tulsa community at these events will be 25 Team Depot associates from The Home Depot stores around the area. “We’re thrilled that The Home Depot shares our same local community values and is showing that through their involvement,” America adds. “The Home Depot’s core values of ‘Giving Back’ and ‘Doing the Right Thing’ are a perfect fit.” Jared Liu from the Alliance for Community Trees in Washington, DC, will be in attendance at the Oct. 22 event to participate at the planting and talk about the value of trees and connections between affordable housing and greening.
ReGreen Tulsa was created by Mayor Kathy Taylor after the devastating 2007 ice storm that destroyed tens of thousands of Tulsa trees. The goal for the program is to raise at least $3 million in private donations to plant at least 20,000 trees – 10,000 planted in neighborhoods, parks, schools and other public places, and at least 10,000 planted by others. Since its inception, more than 2,600 trees have been planted by Up With Trees and close to 10,000 trees have been planted by other organizations. The Tulsa Community Foundation had provided a matching grant of up to $1.5 million. Tax-deductible donations can be sent to ReGreen Tulsa c/o Tulsa Community Foundation, 7030 S. Yale Ave., Tulsa, OK 74136. Credit Card donations also can be made by calling (918) 610-8733 or through the Up With Trees website at www.upwithtrees.org.
Alliance for Community Trees (ACT) is dedicated to improving the health and livability of cities by planting and caring for trees. With 160 grassroots affiliates in 40 states and Canada, ACT engages volunteers to take action to improve the environment where 80 percent of people live – in urban areas. ACT member organizations have planted and cared for 14.9 million trees in cities with help from 4.3 million volunteers. For more information, visit www.actrees.org.
The Home Depot Foundation was created in 2002 to further the community building goals of The Home Depot. The Home Depot Foundation is dedicated to building affordable homes for working families that are healthy to live in and affordable to own. Since its formation, The Home Depot Foundation has granted $120 million to nonprofit organizations and supported the development of more than 65,000 affordable, healthy homes. For more information, visit www.homedepotfoundation.org.
Up With Trees Kicks Off Fall Planting Season
Up With Trees