The US cities are said to lose about 36 million trees on an annual basis. Moreover, the latest stats suggest that from 2001 to 2020, in 19 years, the country has lost 42.2 million hectares of forests. It amounts to a tree cover loss of 15%. These are shocking and it is high time people acted on this issue. However, there are several nonprofits that have already begun to work on this noble cause to bring environmental and ecological balance to the world. In this blog, we talk about the best charities for planting trees and encouraging reforestation.
- Trees, Water & People
- New York Restoration Project
- Trees Louisville
- Tree People
- Arbor Day Foundation
- National Forest Foundation
- Woodland Trust
- Ben & Annie’s Trees for Tomorrow
- One Tree Planted
- Tree Aid
Note: The list comprises noteworthy 501c3 organizations with far-reaching impact and impeccable work. But we also understand that these are not the only charities planting trees. We chose these because of their unique activities and impressive programs for the world’s environment.
1. Trees, Water & People
Mission statement: To improve lives by helping communities to protect, conserve, and manage their natural resources.
Trees, Water & People was founded in 1998 by two foresters and friends. Quickly after the organization started work, they realized the local population cut down trees to use for cooking.
Trees, Water & People decided to work with local organizations to push the belief that “healthy families and forests are not mutually exclusive.” The organization was able to limit logging in the area and teach local families how to feed their families in an environmentally friendly way.
Today, the organization has offices located in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and US Tribal lands in Colorado, South Dakota, and New Mexico. Their projects include Sustainable Family Agriculture, Agroforestry, Food Security, and a Clean Cooking program that has created cookstoves to help families use less wood, create jobs, and improve air quality in the home.
Trees, Water & People has been rated a 4-star nonprofit on Charity Navigator.
Donors in the United States can gift a tree, a stove, access to clean water, and support the organization with cryptocurrency or DonorAdvised Funds. You can also make an online donation on their website.
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2. New York Restoration Project
Mission statement: We work to ensure that all New Yorkers have equitable access to green space. For over 25 years, NYRP has invested in and stewarded parks and gardens throughout the city’s five boroughs to strengthen communities, promote food sovereignty, and counter environmental and social injustice.
New York Restoration Project (NYRP) was founded by Bette Midler in 1995. The organization started by picking up trash in Fort Tryon and Fort Washington Parks. NYRP now owns and manages 52 community gardens and parks. The nonprofit’s program MillionTreesNYC planted its millionth tree in South Bronx in 2015.
NYRP moved from trees to gardens in 2011 and started its Gardens for the City program, which has since helped build 250 gardens and shared green spaces. Other programs like their Living Shoreline help fight the effects of climate change on Sherman Creek Park, which is one of the last native wetlands in Manhattan.
Donors can sponsor a tree to honor a loved one and increase the city’s forest canopy. New York City residents can also apply to join a garden and become a part of the nonprofit’s workforce. Or, you can make a donation to support their work.
3. Trees Louisville
Mission statement: Trees Louisville is a catalyst for conserving and increasing the community tree canopy to achieve and maintain 45% overall canopy coverage.
Trees Louisville was created with an Executive Order from Mayor Fisher in 2012 in response to deforestation by development, weather, and the Emerald Ash Borer. The Emerald Ash Borer is an insect that has been killing Ash trees around the country. The nonprofit partners with:
- Jefferson County Public Schools
- Urban Tree Canopy Assessment
- Arbor Day Foundation
- Archdiocese of Louisville
- Google Fiber
The organization’s goal is to bring civic engagement through education and public awareness and expand the regional tree canopy.
Donors can also donate online or sign up for Amazon Smile to support the organization. Trees Louisville has also joined with Kroger Community Rewards Program to donate a percentage of every purchase to help plant trees throughout the city. Here’s a glimpse into their donation page and the recurring donation form.
4. Tree People
Mission statement: To inspire, engage and support people to take personal responsibility for the urban environment, making it safe, healthy, fun, and sustainable and to share our process as a model for the world.
Tree People was founded in 1973 by a teenager, Andy Lipkis. Today, the nonprofit is the largest environmental movement in Southern California. Thanks to the organization, more than 3 million people plant trees after forest fires, donate fruit trees to low-income areas, and create solutions for capturing rainwater during droughts.
Tree People inspires people to become community foresters, lead volunteer groups, and educate in the planting and care of trees. Volunteers can plant trees on neighborhood streets, empty wells, neighborhood parts, or business districts.
5. Arbor Day Foundation
Mission statement: To inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.
Arbor Day started in 1872. One hundred years later, the Arbor Day Foundation was formed and began planting 500 million trees in more than 50 countries worldwide.
Arbor Tree Foundation partners with individuals, corporations, foundations, and other nonprofits to ensure their work is focused and has the most significant impact. Their programs range from replanting forests, cities, and rainforests, cleaning up contaminated soil, providing educational tools, and providing a campsite location for people to enjoy.
Some of Arbor Tree Foundation’s notable programs include the following:
- Replanting our Forests
- Community Tree Recovery
- Lied Lodge & Arbor Day Farm
- Forestry Carbon Credits
- Energy-Saving Trees & Community Canopy
- Tree City USA
- Tree Campus Healthcare
- Alliance for Community Trees
- Partners in Community Forestry
Donors can give online to the Arbor Day Foundation and support millions of ongoing projects around the world.
6. National Forest Foundation
Mission statement: Our mission is to bring people together to restore and enhance our National Forests and Grasslands.
National Forest Foundation (NFF) was chartered by the United States Congress and is managed by the US Forest Service. NFF works with volunteers and community leaders to care for 193 million acres of wildlands. Thanks to these forests, visitors send $13.5 billion into our economy every year. These forests’ popularity and environmental roles are a vital part of our country.
Supporters of NFF can donate to any of the organization’s regional funds:
- The Northern Rockies
- Pacific Northwest and Alaska
- Rocky Mountain
NFF also encourages donors to become recurring donors or give through donor-advised funds or planned giving. Its supporters can also help the organization reach its goal to plant 50 million trees. NFF uses 85% of every donation on its conservation programs.
7. Woodland Trust
Mission statement: We create havens for wildlife by planting millions of trees every year, campaign for new laws to protect ancient woodland, and restore damaged ancient woods so they can breathe again.
Woodland Trust was founded in 1972 by Ken Watkins and a group of friends trying to save an ancient forest. The organization planted more than five million trees in 1,100 woods by its 30th anniversary.
In 2010 an aggressive campaign helped the organization block the government’s proposal to “dispose of Forestry Commission land.” In 2019, the Woodland Trust acquired its first mountain, Ben Sheildaig.
Today, Woodland Trust has inspired half a million people in Grantham, Lincolnshire, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland to care for more than 1,000 free public woods and 50 million growing trees.
Supporters can become a member and receive a directory of more than 1,000 Woodland Trust woods and four copies of Broadleaf magazine per year.
8. Ben & Annie’s Trees for Tomorrow
Mission statement: Planting trees in Central Texas to build communities and promote sustainable development through cleaner air and vibrant public spaces.
Ben & Annie’s Trees was named after the founder Bryan Mendenhall’s children. The organization’s goal is to replant trees disturbed by builders and home developers and create new parks and greenspaces. They also hope to educate the public about long-term growth and production issues and encourage builders and developers to voluntarily plant replacement trees for what they displace.
The organization is currently located in San Antonio, New Braunfels, Boerne, and Bulverde, Texas.
Supporters can give one-time or monthly donations online. Weston Dean Custom Homes matches 50% of donations.
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9. One Tree Planted
Mission statement: We want to make it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees.
One Tree Planted wants to make a positive social impact around the world. They plan to do that through forest restoration, creating habitats for biodiversity, and planting one tree for every donation they receive.
Since its founding in 2014, One Tree Planted has planted over 40 million trees in 43 countries. They have focused their efforts on North America to restore forests after the California wildfires, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Today, they’re raising funds to help support forest fire recovery in British Colombia.
Donations start at $1 to plant one tree and grow from there. Supporters can also create their own fundraiser or become “One Tree Planted” tree ambassadors and share their stories on social media.
10. Tree Aid
Mission statement: We grow trees to protect the environment.
Tree Aid was a response to the Ethiopian famine in 1987 after emergency aid for the country dried up. The organization entered, knowing tree planting was a long-term solution, and worked to educate local people with knowledge and expertise to grow trees and protect their own land.
Today, Tree Aid works in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Ethiopia, and Senegal. They strive to fight the effects of climate change and grow millions of trees to protect local land. Tree Aid has restored 160,000 hectares of degraded land in the Sahel and grown over 24 million trees.
Supporters looking to join these efforts can host a tea group and provide Tree Aid with the revenue. Donors can also Gift a Tree, beehive, training, or a pair of boots to an African farmer.
This list of the best charities for reforestation and tree planting is not entirely inclusive. If you know about other organizations doing excellent environmental work, we’d love to hear about it. You can easily sign up on Donorbox Knowledge Community and join many other organizations for sharing your experience, learning from and with others, finding helpful resources, and growing your network.
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