In what organizers believe is the largest community tree planting event in America, thousands of volunteers have registered to plant more than 50,000 native trees including every county in Tennessee during Tennessee Tree Day, taking place March 20, 2021. The event includes 112 community tree pickup sites and more than 4,000 individual tree-planting locations. The event is organized every year by Tennessee Environmental Council, a non-profit organization based in Nashville, with Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry playing a vital role in this event.
The pickup site in Coffee County is the UT Extension at 1331 McArthur St. in Manchester. Pickup is 9a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday, March 19 and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The deadline has already passed to order trees.
“In a rough pandemic year, it is heartwarming to see thousands of volunteer participants planting trees and planting hope for our future,” says Cynthia Hernandez, Tree Program Manager at Tennessee Environmental Council.
The annual statewide event was recently endorsed by the Tennessee State House of Representatives, which voted unanimously in favor of a joint “Tennessee Tree Day Resolution” (HJR0147) (https://t.e2ma.net/click/9cwemi/d4npzgb/9sgp84d). The goals of this volunteer effort include maintaining a healthy tree canopy in communities across Tennessee, advancing natural climate solutions, and increasing biological diversity. Native tree species being planted include bald cypress, eastern redbud, northern red oak, white oak, pecan, shortleaf pine, red mulberry, silky dogwood, tulip-poplar, sweetgum, wild plum, and buttonbush.
“There’s no better way to improve our environment,” says Jeffrey Barrie, CEO of Tennessee Environmental Council. “Every year, participants show up by the thousands to do something positive for our world, and that’s why we keep doing it year after year,” says Barrie.
Tennessee Environmental Council’s Tree Program was established in 2007 with a goal of planting one million native trees across the state by 2025 to increase the biological diversity of the state and region, and to help replace trees lost to development and other causes. Since then, volunteers have planted over 679,100 trees through this program, fulfilling the mission of engaging individuals and communities to improve our environment and public health.
The event is sponsored by numerous funders and agencies, including National Wildlife Federation, Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Memorial Foundation, TVA, Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund, Penske, Sharing Change, Root Nashville, more than a dozen city and county municipalities, and other funders and sponsors.
About Tennessee Environmental Council:
Tennessee Environmental Council was founded in 1970 by six founding groups: Tennessee Wildlife Federation, League of Women Voters, American Lung Association of Tennessee, Junior League of Nashville, Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Estates, and Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs, along with founding members Cecil Branstetter, Lucius Birch Jr., and Lester Dudney.