Keep America Beautiful, a national nonprofit, and The UPS Foundation, which leads the global citizenship programs at UPS, announced the distribution of 30 grants totaling $160,000 for its 2016 Keep America Beautiful/UPS Community Tree and Recovery Tree Planting Grants program. The grant recipients’ projects will result in more than 10,500 trees being planted in support of locally relevant initiatives.
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.
“Participating Keep America Beautiful affiliates in The UPS Foundation grant program are enriching the lives of people in their communities by stabilizing vacant lots, restoring areas hit by natural disasters, and providing beauty through the simple act of planting trees,” said Jennifer Jehn, Keep America Beautiful’s president and CEO. “Thanks to UPS, this national tree-planting initiative will help make our communities economically stronger, healthier, and more resilient.”
The UPS Community Tree and Recovery Tree Planting Grant Program is one element of The UPS Foundation’s overall support of Keep America Beautiful. The UPS Foundation also has supported Keep America Beautiful’s Vision for America Award, which is presented annually to distinguished leaders whose personal and corporate commitments have significantly enhanced civic, environmental and social stewardship throughout the U.S. UPS was the recipient of the Vision for America Award in 2007.
“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.”
In addition to the grant funding, the program also links Keep America Beautiful affiliates with local UPS employees who will provide volunteer support to plant the trees. Here are some highlights of UPS Community Tree and Recovery Tree Planting Grant initiatives that will take place in 2016:
Keep Alachua County Beautiful – This Florida-based affiliate will use grant funding to plant trees in an effort to address the problem of invasive species on conservation lands in Alachua County.
Keep Cincinnati Beautiful – The Price Hill Vacant Lots Occupied Project intends to put unused vacant property to good use by planting trees, along with other food-bearing plants, to give these properties new life, while providing access to healthy, natural food to residents of the Price Hill neighborhood.
Keep Irving Beautiful – The grant will fund the replacement of trees in Bird’s Fort Trail Park, which were lost during flooding of the Trinity River in the spring of 2015. The trees lost were among the trees planted in November of 2010 during “NFL Super Grow XLV – Touchdown for Trees,” part of the National Football League’s environmental initiatives associated with Super Bowl XLV.
Keep Oklahoma Beautiful – Oklahoma lost hundreds of trees from ice storms and wildfires in the past year. Keep Oklahoma Beautiful and the Tree Bank Foundation will replace the canopy that was lost because of these disasters.
Metro Beautification and Environment Commission – The Antioch community of Metropolitan Nashville, Tennessee, is home to Mill Creek, which flooded in 2010 and is the only habitat in the world of the Nashville crayfish. This tree-planting project will bring together for the first time the Mill Creek Watershed Association, the Friends of Mill Creek Greenway, the Metro Beautification and Environment Commission, Metro Parks and the Metro Tree Advisory Committee to enhance the health of the Mill Creek watershed.
Since 2012, 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.