Bartlett Tree Experts has signed on as “Crown Sponsor” of the Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund) for 2011, renewing its role as lead sponsor of the Naperville, Ill.-based foundation. The TREE Fund is internationally recognized as the leading non-governmental source of funding for scientific research, scholarships and education programs related to arboriculture and urban forestry. This is Bartlett’s second year as TREE Fund Crown Sponsor, which carries a commitment of financial and in-kind support valued at $50,000. Bartlett has been a lead supporter of the TREE Fund since the foundation’s inception in 2002.
Included in Bartlett’s sponsorship commitment is support of the 2011 STIHL Tour des Trees, a week-long cycling event that has become the signature fundraiser for the TREE Fund and America’s largest fundraiser for tree research. A portion of Bartlett’s sponsorship will underwrite the purchase of 500 copies of “I Can Name 50 Trees Today!” a Cat in the Hat Learning Library book by Bonnie Worth. Copies of the book will be distributed to children at schools and libraries in Virginia this fall during the STIHL Tour des Trees “VA2DC Tour” which will cycle from Virginia Beach, VA to Washington DC October 2-8. Arboriculture education for schoolchildren is a key component of the Tour des Trees, and the cyclists will visit several schools during their 500-mile ride.
Last year’s STIHL Tour des Trees “Chicago Loop Tour” raised $450,000 dollars for tree research. Bartlett’s Crown Sponsorship was key to the success of the 2010 event and included the donation and installation of three trees in Chicago’s Millennium Park as a legacy of the Tour’s launch from downtown Chicago.
The 2011 STIHL Tour des Trees “VA2DC Tour” kicks off with a one-day recreational Ride for Research in Virginia Beach on Oct. 2, which is open to the public. The weeklong VA2DC Tour also includes stopovers in Williamsburg, Richmond, Charlottesville, Front Royal (via Skyline Drive) and Reston before concluding October 8 in Washington DC. Along the way the cyclists will visit schools, libraries, historic landmarks and community centers where they will plant trees and educate the public about the importance of properly caring for their communities’ trees. Bartlett tree care professionals will be on hand to support these local events as well. The fundraising goal for the 2011 event is set at $500,000.
“The research the TREE Fund supports through its fundraising efforts is vitally important to our communities and the environment,” said Robert Bartlett Jr., Chairman and CEO of Bartlett Tree Experts. “Sponsoring the TREE Fund is one of the ways Bartlett Tree Experts can help in preserving our urban forests.”
Since its inception in 1992, the TREE Fund has distributed more than $6 million to support tree research and education, funding research into disease control, pesticide use, planting, pruning, mulching and irrigation techniques for urban trees and safer techniques and equipment for those who care for them.
“Our sponsors are the key to the continued success of the TREE Fund and its fundraising events,” said Janet Bornancin, executive director of the TREE Fund. “With the support of enlightened partners like Bartlett we reach more and more people each year and raise awareness of the importance of trees and tree care in communities across the country.”
Additional information regarding sponsorship, rider registration and opportunities to support the STIHL Tour des Trees and the TREE Fund is available at www.stihltourdestrees.org