On June 29, 2019, the East Hawaii branch of the Outdoor Circle held its first ever tree giveaway event which saw over 900 trees donated to the East Hawaii community. This event, which was a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and Fed Ex, utilized a $25,000 grant to help replant trees in the East Hawaii area that was heavily impacted by the natural disasters that took place during the summer of 2018. The goal of the program was to replace trees that were lost in these events, while at the same time, choosing trees that would be desirable to property owners and would also help mitigate future impacts associated with these disasters, especially flooding.
The outcome saw all 911 trees, consisting of 43 fruit and native species, find new homes not only in the East Hawaii area, but around the entire Big Island as some individuals made the commute from Kona just to receive free trees. In addition, the giveaway event proved to be a major publicity event for the Outdoor Circle and its East Hawaii branch, helping to reach new demographics that had not heard of the organization and seeing new members of all ages join the branch.
While this event occurred due to a competitive grant to replant trees in an area affected by natural disasters, the recent success of the tree giveaway has helped to forge a strong relationship with the Arbor Day Foundation. As such, this partnership can help provide exciting opportunities for any TOC branch that might want to conduct their own tree planting/giveaway events. To learn more, please email TOC’s Programs Director, Myles Ritchie (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Greenleaf is the online newsletter and blog of The Outdoor Circle. Here you will find updates on the projects and accomplishments of our many branches throughout the state, as well as programs with statewide impact.