Pledge by Green Forests Work
Green Forests Work to Restore 5 Million Trees on Surface Mined Lands in Appalachia and BeyondTotal Trees Pledged: 5,000,000
Supporting actions: Nursery Development, Science and Technical Assistance, Tree Protection through Management, Workforce Development, Environmental Education, Conservation Finance,
Green Forests Work (GFW) is a non-profit tree planting organization founded in 2009 that restores forests on severely degraded surface coal mined lands in Appalachia and beyond.
In alignment with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, and in contribution to the goal of one trillion trees conserved, restored, and grown, we pledge to plant 5 million trees on roughly 7,500 acres by 2030.
This work will cost an estimated $9,750,000, and will be achieved by using private and corporate donations, grants, and our staff time to leverage matches by public land agencies, other non-profits, and regional initiatives, as well as our partners’ expertise, time, and materials.
GFW’s mission is to reforest lands that have been degraded by surface mining for coal and will not regenerate to forest in a reasonable timeframe. Site preparation activities before tree planting include removal of nonnative species, deep ripping to mitigate soil compaction, wetland construction where appropriate, and hand-planting of native trees. A diverse mix of native tree and shrub species is planted on each site based on the local ecosystem and wildlife and pollinator habitat needs. We support local ‘restoration economies’ by hiring heavy machinery operators formerly employed by mining companies, purchasing native plant material from regional nurseries, and hiring regional tree planting contractors. We hold volunteer tree planting/educational outreach events yearly. Thus far, GFW has completed more than 300 volunteer tree planting projects/events throughout Appalachia which have involved more than 20,000 volunteers. GFW and our partners have planted more than 3.1 million trees on lands impacted by the legacy of coal mining.
Our partners include the Appalachian Regional Commission, Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, USDI Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Appalachian Stewardship Foundation, Arbor Day Foundation, American Forests, One Tree Planted, Komatsu, USDI National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, and many more.
GFW has completed more than 300 volunteer tree planting projects/events throughout Appalachia which have involved more than 20,000 volunteers, some of which include research. Our partners are involved in collecting seed and growing plants for our projects. We’ve also employed Civilian Conservation Corps crews to perform management on our projects.
Our tree planting is done responsibly by working with local partners and area managers to customize diverse tree species lists that are appropriate for the unique ecosystems we restore at each site. We work with our partners to monitor the project sites periodically after restoration activities are completed, and if necessary, we return to the sites to plant additional trees. At every opportunity possible, we hold volunteer tree planting and educational outreach events.
1,820,426 MT CO2E