Happy Earth Day, Kentucky!
In case you didn’t know, the theme of this year’s celebration is “Trees for the Earth.” It launches a five-year effort to plant 7.8 billion trees—one for every person on the planet—by the movement’s 50th anniversary in 2020.
According to the Earth Day Network, our planet is losing more than 15 billion trees each year due to deforestation, land development and poor forest management. In an effort to reverse these trends, The Nature Conservancy invites you to join in planting and caring for trees at our nature preserves and around Kentucky. You can do this in three ways:
- Volunteer to plant and care for trees at one of our Kentucky nature preserves or Louisville project sites this year.
- Plant a tree that is native to Kentucky on your property and post a picture on our Facebook page with the hashtag #Trees4earth to inspire others to do the same.
- If you don’t have a spot to plant a tree or time to volunteer, please support our efforts to increase tree cover in Kentucky!
In the past six months alone, The Nature Conservancy and our partners have planted more than 6,600 trees at our nature preserves around Kentucky and in many of Louisville’s neighborhoods. While we are making strides, the challenges are more formidable than ever. Climate change, pollution, a growing population and habitat loss represent just a few threats which stand in the way of leaving the world better than it was a century ago.
Trees go a long way in combating these threats, for many reasons:
Trees remove pollution from the air and produce oxygen required by every living thing.
Trees attract millions of people to state and national parks and forests each year. Timber from sustainably managed forests generates jobs and revenue for businesses and local communities.
Trees naturally filter water usually headed towards streams and rivers used by humans for drinking.
Trees hold vast amounts of water that would otherwise inundate the surrounding landscape and eventually, rivers and streams.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In fact, one tree can sequester a ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old.
Neighborhoods with abundant trees boast fewer crimes than those without, supporting evidence that green spaces have a calming effect and boost a positive community spirit.
Trees boost property values—sometimes as much as by 25 percent—because people are drawn to homes and businesses that are surrounded by a vibrant, healthy landscape.
Several studies have found that walking in the woods improves cognitive function, boosts mood and benefits mental health.
Tree cover reduces air temperature and provides shelter from wind to reduce energy costs benefit human health, especially during summer months.
Trees harbor an array of wildlife in seek of food, shelter, nesting and mating.
When you plant or care for a tree, you help perpetuate all of these services specifically provided by these “lungs of our land.” If you can do one thing today, on Earth Day, we hope you will commit to adding another tree to the Kentucky landscape—at a Nature Conservancy preserve or in your own backyard.
Thanks for supporting this important work and Happy Earth Day!