October 22, 2015

American Forests and Alcoa Foundation celebrate five years of partnership and more than 1 million trees planted


WASHINGTON D.C. - This year marks five successful years of American Forests and Alcoa Foundation’s “Partnership for Trees,” which has planted more than 1.12 million trees to reforest damaged ecosystems and create greener spaces. 
 
To date, 50 sites have been restored in nearly 100 projects with the help of thousands of volunteers. Project sites are selected based on American Forests’ and Alcoa Foundation’s criteria, which ensure that the sites will continue as a conservation site after the project has been completed.  The volunteer power is provided by Alcoa employees, employees of American Forests and members of the local community around each project site.
 
Among the projects that have helped improve environments in communities across the globe have been restoring forests lost to fire in the Russian national park Samarskaya Luka; replenishing the population of the endangered candelilla tree in Mexico; and repurposing an abandoned railroad line in Georgia to create the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum.
The partnership is expected to continue as part of Alcoa’s “Ten Million Trees” initiative. Alcoa Foundation is committed to protecting the environment through replenishing forests and urban areas which in turn promote biodiversity, purify the air and improve water quality.
 
“Healthy forests are critical for a healthy planet, all while increasing the quality of life for the people living in these communities,” said Alice Truscott, Program Manager, Alcoa Foundation. “American Forests helps Alcoa Foundation fulfill our commitment of restoring forest ecosystems, and we are proud of our long-standing partnership and the impact we have made together to date.” 
 
Statistics show the diverse effects of this globally-driven partnership.
·         Carbon sequestration by trees is integral to air quality, all forms of biological life and mitigating the effects of climate change. An estimated 570,000 people have access to fresh air because of American Forests and Alcoa Foundation’s work.
·         This Partnership’s work equates to removing the yearly emissions of 7,000 cars from the atmosphere.
·         A single tree can remove up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide a year, which amounts to an estimated 54.72 million tons of carbon stored by trees planted through the initiative.
·         Local benefits are specific to each project but range from habitats for endangered species, to cleaner water and improving soil conditions, to environmentally sustainable communal spaces and environmental education.
 
American Forests’ blog, Loose Leaf, has highlighted some of the projects since the partnership began in 2011. To celebrate “The Partnership for Trees,” American Forests created a blog series to highlight projects from each year. The full list of completed projects is available on American Forests’ website
 
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ABOUT AMERICAN FORESTS
Founded in 1875, American Forests was the first national nonprofit conservation organization in the U.S. Its mission is to restore threatened forest ecosystems and inspire people to value and protect urban and wildland forests. In the past 25 years alone, American Forests has planted nearly 50 million trees in approximately 1,000 high-impact forest restoration projects. These projects have restored hundreds of thousands of acres of wildlife habitat, protected vital watersheds and sequestered millions of tons of greenhouse gases. American Forests is also one of the nation’s leading advocates for expanding urban tree canopy and green space, and a key funder of urban forest initiatives that have transformed communities across the country. Learn more atwww.americanforests.org.
 
ABOUT ALCOA FOUNDATION
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the United States, with assets of approximately $480 million. Founded 63 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $615 million. In 2014, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $22 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow’s leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2014, 58 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,000 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 700,000 people and 500 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.alcoafoundation.com.

MEDIA CONTACT
Christopher Horn | Director of Communications | 202.370.4517 (direct) | 913.549.0769 (cell) | chorn@americanforests.org