TreeFolks: Inspiring People of Austin to Make a Difference in Their Community

TreeFolks Executive Director Thais Perkins shares why her organization is a proud beneficiary of Give 5 to Mother Earth this year.

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Why is your organization participating in 2016’s Give 5 campaign?

TreeFolks is participating in the 2016 Give 5% to Mother Earth Campaign to connect the community with their environment and rally support for additional tree planting and care services in Central Texas.  Each year, TreeFolks organizes the amazing energy of 2,000 volunteers to plant and care for trees in local communities.  Trees are planted at Central Texas schools, parks and neighborhoods, along streets, in community gardens and at people’s homes in fire-ravaged Bastrop County.  We’ve also led hundreds of educational workshops to build a cadre of citizens that are well equipped to care for their urban forest.  The Give 5% campaign will directly support these programs that benefit Central Texas’ urban forests, making Austin a better place to live, work and play. 

Why are initiatives like Give 5 so important to the Austin community?

The Give 5% campaign is so important because it inspires the people of Austin and local businesses to make a difference in their community.  This campaign easily connects Central Texans with environmental causes that are crucial to maintaining healthy, green communities for generations to come.  

What are pressing challenges facing our natural environment in Central Texas? How do you think Give 5 and it’s partner organizations can play a role in addressing these challenges?

Unfortunately, there is no lack of need for TreeFolks’ tree planting services in Central Texas.  Increased tree loss from drought and urban development, devastating wildfires in Bastrop County and record-breaking flooding along the Blanco River are all threatening the health of our ecosystem.  TreeFolks has planted two million trees since a small group of founding volunteers started planting trees in local parks back in 1989.  This year, TreeFolks developed a program to reforest the riparian forest along the Blanco River in Hays County after the Memorial Day floods.  This program will work with private landowners and other restoration groups to replant 650,000 trees along the river and rebuild the riparian ecosystems that clean the water, support wildlife and reduce future flooding.  The Give 5% to Mother Earth campaign and its partner organizations play a major role in addressing these environmental challenges to increase the overall health of our urban ecosystem.

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