The United Church of Christ has a goal of planting 10,000 trees to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Thus far, 8,000 trees have been planted in national forests damaged by forest fires, 500 in Kenya, Zambia, and Palestine, and 970 by UCC members in their own communities.
If you’d like to plant a tree in honor of Earth Day, please do so. Then let Gail Crouch moc.liamg@16hcuorceg know so she can add our numbers to the national totals. If you have space, but no tree, contact Gail, and she will connect you with someone who can provide and/or plant the tree. Or, consider a $87 donation to King County Parks Foundation or Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees campaign.
Trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, and in 2017 trees absorbed enough CO2 to offset 11 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EPA. Transportation is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Planting trees is not a substitute for huge reductions in car and truck exhaust and other greenhouse gas emissions. But forest restoration can help us battle the climate crisis. There is enough suitable land to increase the world’s forest cover by one-third without affecting existing cities or agriculture. We get there by planting one tree at a time.
- help the soil capture significant amounts of carbon
- catch rainfall and protect against increased flooding caused by climate change
- absorb airborne pollutants and prevent over half a million cases of acute respiratory symptoms each year in the US
- provide shade and lower air conditioning needs by as much as 30 percent
- provide habitat for birds and wildlife along with peace and tranquility for people
The Tongass National Forest in southeastern Alaska
is one of the world’s major carbon sinks. It’s also our nation’s premier climate insurance policy. Nevertheless, the Trump administration issued a draft environmental impact statement last fall to open it to roadbuilding and logging. Sacred Earth Matters urged people to submit comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture opposing this plan, and Earthjustice challenged it in federal court. Thankfully, a federal judge in March rejected the plan.
Closer to home the Seattle Urban Forestry Commission submitted last June a draft Tree and Urban Forest Protection Ordinance to Seattle’s city council at the request of councilmembers Sally Bagshaw and Lisa Herbold. But nothing is happening, and Seattle continues to have large numbers of large ancient trees cut down. Maybe it’s time for Seattle residents to ask their councilmembers to act. You can take action at Don’t Clearcut Seattle – Update Seattle’s Tree Ordinance @ https://www.dontclearcutseattle.org/