Johnny Appleseeding

Tree-mendous Acts Grow Quality of Life




Volunteers will emulate Johnny Appleseed to expand and restore local urban green spaces and improve their quality of life and environment as part of October’s ninth annual National NeighborWoods Month program. Last year, local organizations and governments coordinated the planting of more than 45,000 trees by as many as 23,000 volunteers in hundreds of communities nationwide.

In Massachusetts, Boston Parks & Recreation Department workers joined TD Bank employees and public volunteers to revitalize the East Boston Greenway with 50 new trees. In Goleta, California, 80 new trees took root via 12 planting and care events, and more than 500 elementary school students took a cellular-level look at tree leaves during three science nights.

“Their shouts upon seeing the hair-like edges of some leaves that serve to absorb water and control evaporation were terrific,” says Ken Knight, executive director of Goleta Valley Beautiful. “We impress on them that they will act as stewards—what we plant will also be their children’s trees and onward.”

The Alliance for Community Trees (ACTrees), the national nonprofit program coordinator, estimates last year’s efforts will capture 23.1 million gallons of storm-water, dispose of 660 tons of air pollutants and save participating cities and towns nearly $600,000 in water management and air pollution costs each year. Other tree-mendous benefits include beautifying the landscape, improving home property values, providing a natural habitat and reducing home air conditioning costs by supplying more shade.

To date, ACTrees member organizations have planted and cared for more than 15 million trees in neighborhoods nationwide, involving 5 million-plus volunteers. Executive Director Carrie Gallagher remarks, “People understand instinctively that trees are vital to creating safe and successful communities, and a livable, sustainable future.”


For more information and to participate, visit NeighborWoodsMonth.org or ACTrees.org.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Fracking Water

Organized opposition is building in key states to the environmentally risky practice of fracking, which continues to contaminate large volumes of precious drinking water supplies.

Ballot Power

Activists are increasingly using ballot initiatives enabling voters to enact local policies created to protect clean air, clean water and clean energy.

No-Choice Vaccines

Daycare workers and others that work with children are now required by California law to be vaccinated against measles, whooping cough and flu.

Interactive Government

President Obama’s office has a team assigned to facilitate responses to online petitions that garner more than 100,000 signatures.

Invest Wisely

Organizations are spearheading events surrounding the United Nations Climate Change Conference and encouraging investment in alternative energy companies
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags