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In the last 50 years, the Arbor Day Foundation has planted and distributed nearly 500 million trees in more than 50 countries around the world.
During a visit to Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, we learned more about the foundation from Arbor Day Foundation CEO, Dan Lambe. “2022 is a big year for us at the Arbor Day Foundation,” Lambe said. “It’s the 50th anniversary of the foundation, and the 150th anniversary of the very first Arbor Day. The foundation was founded in 1972, so this is a big year for us to celebrate all that we’ve done, and we are looking forward to what is next for the foundation.”
Lambe pointed out that Arbor Day Farm is in Nebraska City, but the foundation is actually in Lincoln. “We are a global, non-profit organization, planting trees in more than 50 countries around the world. But, our headquarters is located in the heart of downtown Lincoln at 12th and P streets. Of course, Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City is where our mission comes to life. It’s where people can walk the trails and explore the forests. But, we’ve got more than 100 employees in Lincoln helping to plant trees and work with tree planters all around the world.”
It turns out that having the foundation headquarters in downtown Lincoln, is important to the city and the state. “We are proud to be from Nebraska,” Lambe said. “Arbor Day was founded here in Nebraska, and now it’s celebrated around the world. What a lot of people don’t know is the foundation, since 1972, has grown to be the largest member-based non-profit organization in the world, dedicated to planting trees. It all happens with great Nebraska employees, doing this with partners around the world.”
The Arbor Day Foundation is busy on a daily basis, but the foundation has some big goals for the near future. “This Arbor Day, on our 50th anniversary, and the 150th anniversary of the very first Arbor Day, we are launching the most ambitious tree-planting initiative that we’ve ever been a part of,” Lambe said. “We are committed to planting 500 million trees in the next five years. This will be in cities and towns, in front yards and backyards, and in critical forest lands around the globe. One of the things that has changed over the years with Arbor Day is how people look at trees. Trees are seen more today as a ‘must-have’, not just a ‘nice-to-have’. Trees have never been more important. This is the time for trees. We are excited here at the Arbor Day Foundation to drive that momentum, and help people be a part of this tree planting movement.”
“When we are planting trees and working with tree planters, we are doing it with focus,” Lambe said. “We also do it on scale. We want to help individuals plant the right tree in the right place. We want to help communities plant trees in the neighborhoods where they are needed the most. And, we are helping to plant trees by the millions in forest lands that have been devastated by forest fires, tornadoes, and hurricanes. The foundation is working to plant trees, restore forests, and protect the planet.”
If you would like to learn more about Arbor Day, and the work of the Arbor Day Foundation, check out arborday.org.