Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, today announced the distribution of 21 grants totaling $120,000 from The UPS Foundation for the 2017 Keep America Beautiful/UPS Community Tree and Recovery Tree Planting Grants program. The grant recipients’ projects will result in more than 1,200 trees being planted in support of locally-relevant initiatives.
The Keep America Beautiful/UPS grant program, open exclusively to Keep America Beautiful community-based affiliates, provides grants for tree plantings that will have a greater likelihood of withstanding natural disasters in communities that have lost a significant number of trees because of a recent disaster. Since 2011, Keep America Beautiful and The UPS Foundation have worked together to plant more than 10,000 trees throughout the country.
The collaboration with Keep America Beautiful is part of The UPS Foundation’s global tree-planting initiative intended to help sequester levels of carbon dioxide through strategic plantings; emphasize the importance of native tree planting; or produce fruit from fruit trees for local consumption.
“Keep America Beautiful knows that one of the best ways to create resilient, more sustainable communities is through strategic tree plantings,” said Helen Lowman, Keep America Beautiful’s president and CEO. “We are proud of our long-standing relationship with UPS and The UPS Foundation as part of its important global tree-planting initiative. Our affiliates’ tree planting projects will help transform public spaces into beautiful places, making their communities economically stronger, healthier and better places to live.”
The UPS Community Tree and Recovery Tree Planting Grant Program is one element of The UPS Foundation’s overall support of Keep America Beautiful. The UPS Foundation also has supported Keep America Beautiful’s Vision for America Award, which is presented annually to distinguished leaders whose personal and corporate commitments have significantly enhanced civic, environmental and social stewardship throughout the U.S. UPS was the recipient of the Vision for America Award in 2007. In addition, Keep America Beautiful helps connect UPS employees with local Keep America Beautiful affiliates to provide volunteer support to plant the trees and to fulfill other community improvement projects.
”It is a privilege for UPS to collaborate with Keep America Beautiful, an organization known for advocating for and protecting the environment,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and chief diversity and inclusion officer at UPS. “The UPS Foundation, through its Global Forestry Initiative, has a goal to fund the planting of 15 million trees by the end of 2020. Awarding these grants to Keep America Beautiful affiliates helps foster more resilient, sustainable communities and demonstrates UPS’s continued commitment to communities and the environment.”
Here are some highlights of UPS Community Tree and Recovery Tree Planting Grant initiatives that will take place in 2017:
- Keep Miami Beautiful: The City of Miami Parks & Recreation Natural Areas Division, in collaboration with the City’s Office of Resilience & Sustainability and community partnership with Gang Alternative, will lead a community tree planting event. The event will create a community-centered tree cultivation project and engage UPS volunteers, children and their families, and others in planting trees at Range Park, as well as in mounting educational signage about the tree species which will be native to South Florida.
- Keep Georgia Beautiful: Local Georgia affiliates will work with Keep Georgia Beautiful to plant orchards in public spaces for free local produce and environmental benefit for communities in need.
- Metro Beautification & Environment Commission: This tree planting project will bring together Keep America Beautiful affiliate Metro Beautification and Environment Commission, Greenways for Nashville, Metro Parks, Metro Tree Advisory Committee, UPS and the Whites Creek Watershed Alliance to enhance the health of the Ewing Creek watershed. This area, located in the Whites Creek community of Metropolitan Nashville within a three-acre easement, was graciously dedicated to Metro Nashville Parks by UPS in 2016. This easement is part of the property where UPS’s main facility is located.
- Keep Moline Beautiful: Keep Moline Beautiful and the Moline (Illinois)Parks will partner with its local UPS office to plant 25 apple trees of four different varieties to create a Community Apple Orchard.
Since 2012, The UPS Foundation and its environmental partners, including Keep America Beautiful, have planted more than 7 million trees in 53 countries in its effort to plant, protect and preserve trees in urban and rural areas in the United States and throughout the world. UPS reported that it surpassed the company’s 2016 tree planting goals, planting more than 1.8 million trees during that year’s grant cycle.