LEWISTON — ReTreeUS has been awarded a 2020 TD Tree Days grant from TD Bank. TD Tree Days is a community-based program created in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, which expands urban forests and green spaces in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods.
The grant will allow ReTreeUS staff and volunteers, including students and teachers from Lewiston High School, Next STEP High and staff and Food Corps members from St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, to plant 50 trees at Franklin Pasture Park in Lewiston on Oct. 8 and Oct. 16, steps from Lewiston High School, Next STEP High School, and Connors Elementary School.
“We’re honored to support ReTreeUS during TD Tree Days to expand the tree canopy and help provide a healthier environment, which is critically important this year as more people recognize the wellness benefits of spending time outdoors during the pandemic,” said Shelley Sylva, TD Bank’s Head of Social Impact. “TD Tree Days is part of the TD Ready Commitment which supports initiatives to help ensure a sustainable and inclusive future for all. TD Tree Days is one of many programs that promote a vibrant planet by providing green spaces where they are most needed. Trees do much more than beautify our communities – they produce oxygen; improve air quality and slow climate change by reducing carbon emissions, airborne pollutants and smog; provide cooling shade to reduce energy costs; and enhance quality of life.”
Richard Hodges, of ReTreeUs, said, “We are excited to participate in TD Tree Days because this is an incredible opportunity to create an educational orchard the will benefit the community for decades. With the help of St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, the City of Lewiston and local schools, this project will provide beatification, education and an abundance of fruit. Students involved with the project will create a legacy for the community and will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. We are grateful for this opportunity.”
Now in its ninth year, the TD Tree Days program typically brings together community members and TD employees at planting events in communities from Maine to Florida. Founded in Canada in 2010, the program has had a positive impact on communities and the environment as TD’s flagship volunteer and urban greening program, planting more than 435,000 trees and shrubs, primarily in Canada and the U.S., and is managed with support from the Arbor Day Foundation. Under the TD Ready Commitment platform, TD pledges to plant one million trees in North America by 2030, and the TD Tree Days program will count toward that goal.
ReTreeUS is one of 17 organizations in the United States that was chosen to participate in TD Tree Days through an application process. In addition to Lewiston, TD Tree Days events will take place in Detroit, Mich.; Trenton, N.J.; Wimauma, Fla.; Piedmont, S.C.; Camden, N.J.; Boynton Beach, Fla.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Bronx, N.Y.; Pine Forest and Crandon Parks in Miami, Fla.; Bridgeport, Conn.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Roxbury, Mass.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Wilmington, Del.; and Pawtucket, R.I.
PHOTO: ReTreeUs Facebook photo