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|Current CEO||Matt Harris|
|Number of Members||Approximately 1,000,000|
|Trees Distributed to Members||Approximately 7,000,000 per year|
|Trees Planted in America's Forests||Approximately 5,000,000 per year|
|Number of Tree City USA's||3,409|
|Number of Tree Campuses||237|
|Number of Certified Nature Explore Classrooms||217|
The Arbor Day Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation and education organization founded in 1972 in Nebraska, United States, by John Rosenow. It is the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to tree planting. The Foundation's stated corporate mission is "to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees."
In 1872, J. Sterling Morton started what would become Arbor Day in Nebraska City, Nebraska. This "holiday" is meant to recognize and support the planting of trees. Morton and his wife Caroline challenged people around the country to plant trees. In 1872, on the first Arbor Day, approximately one million trees were planted in Nebraska alone. Sterling and Caroline Morton lived in Nebraska City on a 72-acre estate, which is now known as Arbor Lodge State Historical Park and Arboretum. In 2019, the Arbor Day Foundation gained exposure through Mark Rober and MrBeast's "Planting 20,000,000 Trees, My Biggest Project Ever!" video.
In Nebraska City, Nebraska, the home of Arbor Day, the Arbor Day Foundation built the Lied Lodge and Conference Center, which houses a full-service meeting center and 136 guest rooms" for conservation-minded organizations, members, forestry professionals, or other individuals that value the environmental operating practices offered by the facility. The property is also home to Arbor Day Farm, a National Historic Landmark and an educational visitor attraction; Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure, including the Lied Greenhouse, Woodland Pavilion, the Tree House Trail, Canopy Tree House, Nature Explore Classrooms, Exploratory Trail, Nature Explore Club Cabin, and the Tree Adventure Discovery Ride. In 2014, the Arbor Day Foundation took over management of Arbor Lodge State Historical Park and Arboretum from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
The Tree City USA program, which is co-sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters and the United States Forest Service, has grown to include more than 3,400 towns, cities, and military bases in all 50 states. This program recognizes cities and towns for urban and community forestry and helps provide assistance and public attention to showcase the importance of urban forestry.
The foundation encourages communities across the nation to become Tree City USA by meeting four standards:
The Tree Line USA program recognizes public and private utilities for their use of best practices in arboriculture, primarily following the ANSI A300 guidelines from the Tree Care Industry Association on tree topping and pruning, tree removals and planting, and trenching or tunneling near trees. In order to qualify, a utility must also provide annual training for their workers, educate the public on tree planting and the use of trees for energy conservation, and sponsor an Arbor Day celebration.
Through partnerships with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters, Foundation corporate sponsors, and members have planted more than 45 million trees in America's national forests. An example of a forest replanting is the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, the largest national forest in California with two million acres. As of 2008, the Arbor Day Foundation with its partnership with the U.S. Forest Service has planted more than one million trees.
Through a collaboration with Dimensions Educational Research Foundation, the Arbor Day Foundation is "teaching the importance of nature to children and exposing them to the outdoors through their Nature Explore Classrooms". This is taught to school administrators, landscape architects, and families and allow educators to build and certify a Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom.
According to the foundation, 237 colleges and universities are recognized as Tree Campus USAs. Tree Campus USA recognition is obtained by having a program in place that manages the campus tree inventory along with tree care and maintenance.
The Arbor Day Foundation's Rain Forest Rescue program "saves thousands of acres of tropical rain forest each year". Through the Arbor Day Specialty Coffee program, the Foundation "helps these people and farmers save and preserve the rain forest using sustainable agroforestry that includes the production of coffee beans" and "offers education and economic incentives for rain forest restoration and preservation."
As part of the "Energy Saving Trees" program, an online tool allows the homeowner to "choose a tree for their yard, plot the tree in their yard using satellite imagery to calculate the energy savings over time".
The Arbor Day Foundation teamed with MrBeast and Mark Rober to plant 20 million trees by planting a tree for each dollar donated through Team Trees. Notable donors include Elon Musk and Tobias Lütke, who each donated over a million dollars. The goal to reach 20,000,000 trees was reached on December 19, 2019.
At the World Forum on Urban Forests in October 2018, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Arbor Day Foundation jointly launched the Tree Cities of the World programme. The aim of this programme is to celebrate and recognize cities and towns of all sizes throughout the world which have shown a commitment to maintaining their urban forests. From the end of 2019, any municipality which has responsibility for its trees were able to apply to join Tree Cities of the World.