by Kathleen Rogers
Earth Day Network (EDN) is the largest recruiter to the environmental movement in the world. Over one billion people across 192 countries will participate in Earth Day 2015, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
With over 50,000 partners, EDN supports and promotes environmental laws and civic participation to build environmental democracy since the first Earth Day in 1970. This year marks Earth Day’s 45th anniversary.
With the help of The UPS Foundation, The Canopy Project has become our flagship program. As part of our mission to protect natural lands and preserve the environment for all people, The Canopy Project focuses on large scale forestry to help communities—especially the world’s impoverished communities—sustain themselves and their local economies.
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Since 2013, The UPS Foundation has funded Trees for Communities project. This was the first large-scale tree planting effort undertaken by The Canopy Project.
The Trees for Communities project involved farmers, students, educators, community members, and elected officials from countries around the world. With a target of 383,000 trees planted, communities were engaged in Canada, The Netherlands, Norway, Russia, and Uganda.
EDN surpassed its goal by planting 413,000 trees. Trees reverse the impacts of land degradation and provide food, energy and income, helping communities to achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability. Trees also filter the air and help stave off the effects of climate change.
The 413,000 trees planted sequester 19,824,000 pounds (9,912 tons) of carbon dioxide each year. All of the trees are also making a positive impact on local water supplies by reducing topsoil erosion, preventing harmful land pollutants contained in the soil from getting into waterways, slowing down water run-off, and ensuring that our groundwater supplies are continually being replenished.
For every 5% of tree cover added to a community, storm water runoff is reduced by approximately 2%.
In the rural municipality of Lac Bonnet in Manitoba, Canada, trees were planted along the Winnipeg River to create a forested area along the river basin.
The Netherlands, native species of trees were planted in areas of deforestation in southern Holland to create an area of land where children and adults can improve their health by playing, walking, resting, and enjoying nature.
Education programs were coordinated with tree plantings at schools in Norway and Russia helped teach the importance of trees and relationship between greenhouse gases and climate change.
In Uganda, farmers planted trees to create boundaries on their land and to provide fodder for cattle. The trees have helped prevent soil erosion, which is excellent for crop yields and harvest totals
Earth Day Network is proud to work together with The UPS Foundation to improve the lives of others, practice environmental stewardship, and mobilize action through The Canopy Project.
Kathleen Rogers is President, Earth Day Network
Visit Earth Day Network at www.earthday.org.
Learn more about UPS’s sustainability efforts at ups.com/sustainability.