Keep America Beautiful, the national nonprofit that envisions a country in which every community is a clean, green, and beautiful place to live, and The UPS Foundation, which leads the global citizenship programs at UPS, announced the distribution of a 2017 Keep America Beautiful/UPS Community Tree and Recovery Tree Planting Grant to Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB).
KIB’s grant provided for the purchase of a mix of native trees – bur oak, cedar elm and bald cypress – to be planted along the northern Campion Trails to replace those lost due to flooding and high winds. On the beautiful fall morning of Oct. 19, twenty-three UPS employee volunteers, joined by an Irving Tree Board member and a North Lake College student, gathered at Sam Houston Trail Park to plant those trees. After instruction on proper techniques by the Parks Department staff, the volunteers divided into teams and planted 31 trees at Sam Houston Trail, then the remaining 10 at adjacent T.W. Richardson Grove Park.
Irving Community Television Network (ICTN) sent a crew to interview volunteers and video the action. Councilman Allan Meagher, a retired UPS employee himself, and Irving Fire Chief Victor Conley were present to address the group and express their thanks for the efforts. The group of 25 gave a total of 100 hours of service in planting trees. This was one of 21 grant projects that will result in more than 1,200 trees being planted in support of locally-relevant initiatives. In addition to the grant funding, the program also links Keep America Beautiful affiliates with local UPS employees who provide volunteer support to plant the trees.
“This is the fourth consecutive year that KIB has received the UPS Community Tree Planting Grant,” said KIB Board member Scott Wilson, who also serves on the Tree Board. “These grants have made it possible for our volunteers to plant 256 native trees at the city’s Tree Farm and at three different Campion Trails parks. We are very grateful to UPS and Keep America Beautiful for this opportunity, and trees planted through these grants will be enjoyed by thousands of people for many years to come.”
The Keep America Beautiful/UPS grant program, open exclusively to Keep America Beautiful affiliates, is 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. Grants will also be given to affiliates to plant trees that will have a greater likelihood of withstanding natural disasters in communities that have lost a significant number of trees because of a recent natural disaster.
“Keep America Beautiful knows 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.”
“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.”
Since 2011, The UPS Foundation and its environmental partners, including Keep America Beautiful, have planted more than 5 million trees in 46 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 2015 tree planting goals, planting more than 2.1 million trees during that year’s grant cycle.
SOURCE Keep America Beautiful