Worthy Garden Club launches campaign to plant 1 million trees

The Worthy Garden Club, along with its coalition partners, have launched “Operation Appleseed,” a campaign to plant one million trees in three years throughout the Central Oregon and Coastal regions to support habitat restoration efforts and help mitigate climate change.

Seeded with a $1 Million investment from Worthy Garden Club, the philanthropic arm of Bend’s Worthy Brewing, this coalition is a partnership between Worthy Garden Club, Discover Your Forest, High Cascades Forest Volunteers, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, McKenzie River Trust, and Audubon Society’s Tenmile Creek Sanctuary in order to accomplish Operation Appleseed’s goal of planting a million trees in the next three years across the Deschutes and Willamette National Forests and private lands statewide.

“Climate change is happening at an accelerated pace with clear and disastrous impacts,” said Worthy Garden Club President Roger Worthington. “We’ve organized a strong team of experts, both public and private, who are committed to restoring damaged forests, as well as hope, one tree at a time.”

Throughout this three year commitment, Operation Appleseed’s efforts will support reforestation activities on both private and public lands in a range of habitats, from recently burned hillsides to restored floodplain forests. Utilizing a diverse array of native trees and shrubs, Operation Appleseed will focus on creating a vibrant fabric of vegetation that will support local ecologies and create viable and sustainable impacts.

“We are so thankful for the work of our partners at Discover Your Forest and Operation Appleseed for this contribution to our restoration efforts on the Deschutes National Forest,” said Holly Jewkes, Deschutes Forest Supervisor. “This partnership allows us to accomplish post-disturbance reforestation efforts following the Milli and McKay Fires as well as restoration in the Whychus watershed.”

According to Rika Ayotte, Executive Director of Bend-based Discover Your Forest, “This donation from the Worthy Garden Club is an inspiring gift to our national forests.  On the Deschutes National Forest alone, this funding will restore 1465 acres and the planting of 250,000 trees.  Discover Your Forest is proud to be a part of this partnership and to live in a community where people like Mr. Worthington are stepping forward to support our public lands.”

According to Joe Moll, Executive Director of the McKenzie River Trust, “Dozens of organizations work day in day out on habitat restoration in the Upper Willamette Basin and the central Oregon coast. Commitments like this from the Worthy Garden Club give us the confidence to take on larger projects that achieve greater impact.”

We’re thrilled to engage our community in stewardship of our backyard playgrounds,” said Alyssa Archer, Executive Director of the Springfield-based High Cascades Forest Volunteers. “This partnership will support the planting of more than 430,000 trees on the Willamette National Forest, and we are honored to be part of this joint reforestation effort.”

Tracy Beck, Willamette National Forest Supervisor said “We’re grateful to Worthy Garden Club and High Cascades Forest Volunteers for bringing Operation Appleseed to the Willamette National Forest! This is a great opportunity to do some important planting in recent burned areas and to help our volunteers and communities connect to their public lands. “

Paul Engelmeyer, Manager of the Audubon Sanctuary, Wetlands Conservancy lands and Chair of the MidCoast Watersheds Council welcomes the opportunity to partner with the Appleseed project. “We have tree planting opportunities within our Midcoast watersheds – Salmon River, Siletz, Yaquina, Alsea, Yachats and Ten Mile Creek to improve riparian habitat for salmon, and water quality as well as storing carbon. The co-benefits of this effort creates a ripple effect in our communities for current and future generations.”

“In Oregon’s high desert, streams and rivers sustain the health and vitality of our communities and offer an irreplaceable buffer against the impacts of climate change. With this inspiring and timely infusion of support from the Worthy Garden Club, ONDA volunteers will be able to plant more than 20,000 native trees along waterways in the John Day and Crooked River basins of Central Oregon,” said Ben Gordon, program director for Oregon Natural Desert Association, “We’re doing everything we can to ensure that these waterways and the wildlands that surround them are resilient in the face of the changes to come.”

The campaign calls for funding replantings primarily in the Milli and McKay Fire areas on the Sisters Ranger District. Additionally, the Deschutes National Forest plans to plant 274,840 trees over about 1,465 acres over the next three years.

Restoration efforts will occur in the Wychus watershed where road decommissioning and revegetation efforts will improve watershed health and wildlife habitat.

Partnerships with local volunteers and schools will get the community involved in these important restoration efforts.

 

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