Seeds of National Wildlife Week Sprout for Earth Day Celebration

While celebrating National Wildlife Week in March, we told you about the many roles of trees in the lives of wildlife. Birds, insects and critters — from the diminutive shrew to the huge moose — rely on trees, just as we do in our daily lives. After dedicating National Wildlife Week to a celebration of trees, we also set a goal of planting 75,000 trees this year.

National Wildlife Photo Contest entry by Helen Anderson.
Those efforts began in earnest during National Wildlife Week, and will continue this weekend as Americans observe Earth Day. There are events happening across the country, so please join in and plant a tree this weekend. See if there is a local tree planting happening near you. If not, you can sponsor a tree planting event! And of course, you can donate today to help us reach our goal of planting 75,000 trees.

Branching Out for Wildlife

Volunteers plant trees in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest.
During National Wildlife Week, National Wildlife Federation worked with local schools, community groups and partners to plant 1,900 trees in 16 different states with almost 11,000 students. With the support of Groupon donors and others, each location received native trees and detailed how-to instructions on planting and maintaining the trees for survival. They also received educational materials and activities to learn about trees and the critical role they play in our environment.

In Clermont, Flordia, 300 trees were planted to support the Florida Scrub-Jay (an threatened species). Boy and Girl Scouts, students for the local elementary school and adult volunteers worked together to improve wildlife habitat, by planting more food sources and places for the jays to raise their young. These birds — unlike the common bluejay — are less afraid of humans and enjoy some interaction, as 10-year-old volunteer Lauren discovered. Our volunteers planted scrub oaks, red cedars and longleaf pine trees.

In Mukilteo, Washington, about 40 kids and their parents planted about 200 conifer trees on March 23, a beautiful sunny day. When participants arrived to do the planting, Mukilteo Community Development Director Patricia Love welcomed volunteers and explained why we were planting trees, as team members demonstrated how to plant and talked about the benefits of the trees to forest animals. Planting in a forest understory is not the easiest type of planting to do, but the kids were enthusiastic and planted from one to 10 plants each.

Children from the Harbour Pointe Middle School who were there to perform community service helped during the two-hour event, but most kids planted and then did a scavenger hunt or vice versa. All the plants were planted and each planter was given flagging to tie onto the tree limbs to locate the plants for follow-up maintenance. Planting western red cedars, western hemlocks and grand firs will add to the evergreen forest of the this northwest community and help with water quality for the Puget sound.

Planting trees continues to be a vital way to make a difference for not only wildlife but future generations, who will have a cleaner and better environment due to our work today. You can still donate today to help wildlife and those future generations>>