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“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” –ChineseTrees proverb

As the long living species on Earth, trees have an amazing ability to connect to the past, present and future, while also providing a whole slew of environmental and health benefits. Here in Wisconsin, many of us are lucky enough to be surrounded by trees of all shapes and sizes, but that doesn’t mean we should sit back and idle.

Tomorrow marks the observance of Arbor Day, and while the ground may still be a bit too frozen to physically plant a tree, there’s no better time to make plans for a club tree planting project.

As part of the Lions organization, we understand that every tree planted is part of a broader scale effort by members all over the world to make a significant impact on the environment. According to the European Environment Agency, one mature tree will absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen in exchange. Read more interesting tree facts from the Arbor Day Foundation.

Before creating your tree planting project, consider the following preparations from LCIF:

  • Evaluate your community’s needs – is there an area where new trees may be more beneficial over others?
  • Work with a local forestry or agriculture department to identify the most appropriate tree species for the local environment.
  • Partner with other local groups or organizations to leverage resources and expertise.
  • Outline a plan that includes procedures, materials needed and expenses.
  • Submit your plan and budget to your club, district or multiple district for approval.

Once your plan is approved, the fun can begin:

  • Request Lion volunteers for the project committee.
  • Obtain approvals or permit for your project, if necessary.
  • Create marketing materials such as a flyer, press release or social media post to promote the event – be sure to include protective clothing recommendations for volunteers!
  • Invite the local media to observe or take part in the project.
  • Remember, if your Lions Club participates, you will fulfill complete the Environment portion of the Centennial Service Challenge.

There’s no need to worry about rushing to complete your tree planting project. Some experts even say that planting in the fall can have its advantages. No matter when you decide to plant trees, remember that you are making an important contribution to both present day life as well as future generations.

Happy Arbor Day from Lions Pride!