It is an audacious goal: Greening neighborhoods, helping families save money on energy and food costs, creating jobs and planting 1 additional tree per person, in every urban and suburban area. But, like any large goal, break it down and tackle it a piece of a time. Use the 3–30–3 Approach.
First: Decide to plant a tree.
Then, schedule an event to gather others with the same interest and goal within 3 days.
At the event, set a date to plant the trees within 30 days.
Plan the next tree planting in 3 months.
After deciding to plant a tree, plan the event. Your goal is to gather 10 more people to share the goal with you. Set a date for the tree planting event. It needs to be soon enough to keep the momentum going, which means with 30 days.
At your event, ask for a show of hands for who is ready to join you. This is your initial Tree Board. This is the group of people who will actively seek a location and do the fundraising. You may have people who have business or municipal contacts and can get donations or grants, but most groups start by asking each member to ask 10 people for $10.00.
If you are a high school student, for example, there are probably 4+ clubs whose members are ready to join you — a Sierra Club, a Science Club, an Impact or Key Club, a Climate Action/EcoTeam club. All you need is a few people to get started.
Start on a Thursday and meet again on Monday. A group of 10 people, each asking ten people for $10 raises $1,000 over the weekend. Success is helped by having members focused on the goal that matters most to them.
For some, planting trees is a form of Climate Action. They may be eager to explain for the importance of carbon sequestration by plants and soil. Or they may be focused on shade and cooling the area. For others, planting trees is a way of addressing social equity. I personally, favor public and mental health benefits of building trees. All told, urban trees provide over two dozen ecosystem services. Here is a list:
Trees Provide 25 Eco-Services
Trees provide more than a dozen valuable eco-services, I made a list for linking to in future articles
With respect to the Tree Board, start with those you have, but start asking others to join. 100K Trees for Humanity has found the best results come from boards with about 18 people, of whom 6 are close to high school age. Among the adults, you are seeking an Arborist and/or a Forester, a Master Gardener, a Landscape Architect, a Scientist (biologist, naturalist, or marshland specialist), a Teacher, a City Sustainability lead, a Union representative and someone involved with Housing. This gives you a variety of perspectives on community needs and support.
Why does SymSoil care? We focus on solutions to environmental issues, with a focus on soil biology. Trees and plants feed, and are fed by, the soil microbiome. Healthy soil influences water, carbon sequestration and human health. SymSoil holds a patent on the first scalable approach to manufacturing Soil Food Web products as an alternative to agrochemicals.
SymSoil is a supporter of 100KTrees4Humanity, an urban tree planting project focused on action that moves us towards solutions to climate change with equity and inclusion.