About two years ago, I implored you to take a step back, look at the bigger picture and support TREE Fund. In a nutshell, I reminded you that even though there are many things that require your attention each day, the future of arboriculture also warrants your consideration.
Well, it’s time to remind you again about TREE Fund and why it’s so important, crucial and relevant.
The Tree Research and Education Endowment — a 501(c)(3) charity — offers numerous grants and scholarships in support of research, outreach programs and education in the fields of arboriculture and urban forestry. It’s the leading nongovernmental source of funding for these two fields, and it serves to support scientific discovery and dissemination of new knowledge in both.
To date, the foundation has distributed more than $6 million in the form of scholarships and research grants. Knowledge gained from more than 400 TREE Fund research grants since 1976 directly affects tree care companies, peoples’ lives and arborists’ techniques each day.
“Thanks to TREE Fund, I am able to obtain a quality education and focus on my studies instead of on tuition bills,” Matthew McKernan, a Robert Felix Memorial Scholarship recipient, told TREEFund.org. “I greatly appreciate the support and reassurance I have received, knowing that there are professionals in the industry who care and support my education and success at Kansas State University.”
More recently (March 27), TREE Fund announced its final round of 2016 grant awards for urban tree research and education. With these grants, the charity reached a record-breaking $550,000 in new awards in 2016, bringing its total disbursement of funding to nearly $3.2 million since 2002.
“We achieved this higher level of grant-making in 2016 by increasing both the number and the value of several of our grant lines,” TREE Fund President and CEO J. Eric Smith said in a statement. “We are proud and excited to be able to empower a larger body of new work, all through the tremendous international support we receive from our individual and organizational partners.”
Grants issued in the latter part of 2016 included an important long-term utility arboriculture test program in California; three grants supporting research on safe rigging, accurate tree surveying and proper root removal; and TREE Fund’s signature Research Fellowship, which is designed to cultivate emergent lines of inquiry in the field.
Two Jack Kimmel International Grants, supported by Canadian TREE Fund and its riders in the STIHL Tour des Trees outreach and fundraising event, will fund work on soil cell technology and climate change.
As you can see, this charitable organization continues to do great things for the industry.
So, how can you help?
To actively contribute to the advancement of the arboriculture industry, please visit TREEFund. org, where you can make an online donation. You can make a contribution to the general TREE Fund, or you may choose to support a specific program of your liking, such as the Safe Arborist Techniques Fund.
You can also support TREE Fund via your local International Society of Arboriculture chapter. (Contact your chapter to find out how.)
The bottom line is this: If you’re in a position to give, or if you want to help make even a small difference in your profession — not to mention make a difference for the next generation of arborists and tree care professionals — consider making a donation to TREE Fund. You’ll feel great knowing that you’re contributing to an outstanding, essential cause.