Posts within ‘Boots With Roots: Tree Planting’

Timberland Helps Haiti Plant 2 Million Trees (and Counting)

Three years after committing to plant 5 million trees in five years, Timberland is proud to share progress of improved environmental, economic and social conditions in the rural region near Gonaives, Haiti.  In partnership with a local non-governmental organization, the Smallholder Farmers Alliance, we support an agroforestry program to train Haitian farmers to improve crop yields – and have planted 2.2 million trees along the way.

In 2010, Timberland teamed up with representatives from the Smallholder Farmers Alliance to create a self-sustaining agroforestry model that would deliver agricultural improvement, environmental restoration and economic growth for participating farmers through the development of eight community tree nurseries and agricultural training centers. This pilot cooperative, which is reliant on private sector, non-profit and community partnership, will plant a million more trees in 2013, 2014 and 2015, for a total of 5 million.

The Smallholder Farmers Alliance engaged a group of 2,000 small-scale farmers in the area near Gonaives and transformed the group into a for-profit agroforestry cooperative.  The farmers volunteer their time to manage the tree nurseries and plant trees in return for agricultural services, including high-yield seed, training in crop management, in-field technical support and the good quality tools needed to produce higher yields of sorghum, beans, corn and other food items. Farmers sell their crops individually, but the cooperative supports them by paying for these continued services with the sale of excess trees from the farmer-run tree nurseries.

After just three years of investment, the cooperative continues as a farmer-managed, self-financed operation. This innovation in “exit strategy aid,” which sets a time limit on external funding, tackles a key challenge faced by corporate organizations when getting involved in sustainability or disaster relief projects on the ground in developing nations.

To learn more about Timberland’s tree planting efforts visit the community section of our website.

Wanted: New Hampshire Earth Day Projects

New Hampshire area readers: Timberland is now accepting proposals for Earth Day service projects for our NH-based employees.  We love our local communities, we love the outdoors, and we’re looking for regreening projects that will allow us to bring those two passions together and make them both better.

In simpler terms, a “regreening project” is creating or improving outdoor spaces so more people can enjoy them.  In past years, we’ve worked on public greenways and trail systems, cleaned up community gardens, playgrounds and parks, and expanded outdoor learning spaces for camps and schools.

To learn more about the kinds of projects we’re looking for and to submit your own idea, click here to download the RFP for Timberland’s 2013 Earth Day projects.  The deadline for submissions is February 1.

9 Days, 4,000 Bags, 1 Amazing Experience

Fresh from the bayou, Team Timberland’s Erica Sarcione shares her final thoughts with us about her week-long service sabbatical as part of In Good Company — a partnership of businesses committed to making a difference through hands-on volunteerism for communities in need.  Erica and her fellow service warriors spent their week working on wetlands restoration to help stabilize a fragile barrier island in south Louisiana, where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico.

Where the River meets the Gulf. Courtesy of In Good Company.

Well, we did it!!! Lots of time, energy, effort and care was put in over the last 9 days extended to the wetlands restoration project. Many thanks to our partners, Restore the Earth Foundation and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries.

Our accomplishements:

· We packed over 1,000 Gulf Saver Bags with 22,000 pounds of composted humus.

· We moved 4,000 Gulf Saver Bags from barge to boat and from boat to beach.

· We planted a total of 15,000 native plants (Black Mangrove, Smooth Cord Grass, Marshay Grass, Black Needle Rush Grass).

· All in all, we planted approximately 5+ acres!

Our efforts will help to stabilize a fragile ecosystem, add valuable wildlife habitat, and strengthen a much-needed hurricane buffer.

It was an amazing week and I feel privileged to have been chosen for this incredible journey. I am truly a different person because of this experience, and look forward to making more of a difference in this world going forward. I’d also like to send a heartfelt thank you to all the amazing people I met along the way! I will NEVER forget you!

- Erica

In Good Company 2012

We’re proud to support In Good Company and individuals like Erica willing to give their time and energy to projects like this.  To learn more about In Good Company and the good work this year’s team did in Louisiana, visit their Facebook page.

In Good Company Takes to the Air

Part of the joy of putting in hard effort is seeing its impact — and that’s exactly what Timberland service sabbatical participants Erica Sarcione and Kerri Hewatt did.  Erica and Kerri are spending this week in Louisiana working on a wetlands restoration project with In Good Company – a partnership of businesses committed to making a difference through hands-on volunteerism for communities in need.

The In Good Company crew took time out from filling, hauling and planting 4,000 “Gulf Saver” bags (biodegradable bags filled with native plants and grasses that, when planted, help to stabilize areas of rapid erosion) to get a bird’s eye view of the area and their work. Erica captured the experience to share with us:

Up we go!

Nothing but smiles mid-flight

Bird's eye view of our job site

Erica reports, “That was an AWESOME day.  You really can’t 100% grasp the size and beauty of this place until you see it from above.  I hope by the pictures you can appreciate the importance of these wetlands and understand the need to do everything we can to save them.  There’s so much at stake here!”

With their week-long service experience winding down, we wish safe travels to the entire In Good Company team and look forward to posting final thoughts and photos from Erica and Kerri when they return.

8 Days of Gulf Coast Adventure (and Service) — In Good Company

For the past several years, Timberland has been proud to be a part of In Good Company – a partnership of businesses committed to making a difference through hands-on volunteerism for communities in need.  Each year, employee volunteers from each of the participating companies gather for a week-long service sabbatical to create a positive impact.  This year, Timberland’s representatives are Erica Sarcione, associate product manager at Timberland’s headquarters in Stratham, NH and Kerri Hewatt, assistant store manager for our Timberland Factory Outlet in Commerce, Georgia.

Erica and Kerri are spending this week in Louisiana, working side by side with volunteers from 16 other values-driven companies to help protect and restore parts of the Gulf Coast.  Over the course of the week they’ll learn more about the efforts of local nonprofit organizations, meet local activists, and experience plenty of local culture.

Erica and Kerri took a few minutes out of their jam-packed days to update us on what they’re doing and how the experience has been so far:

Everyone’s spirits are high and we’re all eager to get to work — and we have plenty of it ahead of us! We’re planting 4,000 “Gulf Saver” bags in the marsh lands this week (Gulf Savers are biodegradable burlap bags filled with native plants and grasses that are planted to jump start growth and stability in areas of rapid erosion). They lose about a football size piece of land every hour down here – and we’re here to help fix that!

- Erica

Volunteers planting Gulf Saver Bags. Photo courtesy of Restore the Earth Foundation

We are making great progress on our project here in Louisiana. On Sunday, we got a taste of what it’s like to fill the Gulf Saver bags — our team filled 1120 of them!  On Monday, we started loading the Gulf Saver bags off of a barge and onto smaller skiffs, then we offloaded them on the shore. Once all the bags were unloaded, we distributed them in intricate patterns and started planting the new grasses and trees.  Tomorrow we’ll get a chance to fly over the site and see our work from an aerial point of view.

- Kerri

A beautiful day for wetlands restoration. Photo courtesy of In Good Company

For more real-time updates and phenomenal photos of this week’s volunteers in action, follow the In Good Company page on Facebook.  We’ll also be sharing more updates from Kerri and Erica here on the Bootmakers Blog.

20 Years of Service and One Great Day

Across the globe, Timberland employees are celebrating the 20th anniversary of our Path of Service program, which offers them paid time off to volunteer in their communities.  And what better way to celebrate 20 years of service than with more service?

Here at our Stratham NH headquarters, more than 350 employees pulled on their boots a few weeks ago and set out to assist a variety of local nonprofit organizations as part of “Serv-a-palooza” — Timberland’s annual global service event.  We were lucky enough to get blue skies, ample sunshine and just enough power tools to go around … and although there were a few blisters and sore backs at the end of the day, they were overshadowed by wide smiles (pride? relief?) and a collective sense of accomplishment.

Here’s how we spent our day:

Fresh trim paint for the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH

Measure TWICE cut once! Some of us learned the hard way

Invasive plant species? No match for our president Patrik Frisk

We had plenty of volunteers eager (perhaps TOO eager) to run the saw

Some of us worked really hard ...

... and some of us were better at resting

But we all had fun!

Huge thanks to the Timberland CSR team for organizing yet another successful, impactful day of service, and to the partners who donated their time, materials and invaluable knowledge — we couldn’t do so much good in so little time without you.

Plenty of Reasons to Plant Trees

Did you know that trees have countless benefits, like oxygen production, mudslide prevention, natural water filtration… and honesty? No, we’re not making this up. In South America, the Maiten tree is known as the “tree of truth” by aborigines because no lies can be told under its shelter. No one really likes a liar, so the Timberland team in Argentina has been working hard to plant 3,500 of them!

Tree planting volunteers in Argentina

But that’s not the only place we’re planting. We’re putting roots in the ground all over the world in places like India, Belgium, Russia, Germany, Venezuela, Italy and Portugal, too. Who knows, we might be planting trees in your own backyard!

Tree planting in Italy

Each of our tree planting projects has a story to tell and a unique benefit to the local community, from providing shelter to native butterfly species, to saving a famous pine forest from eroding away into the ocean, to reforesting areas devastated by forest fires. And to share these stories with you, we launched seven new Local Programs tree planting pages on our Community site where you can find out why we’re planting and see the dedicated teams doing the digging.

Tree planters in action in Venezuela

From the Patagonia Mountains to the sandy seaside forest in Leiria, the pictures from these projects are worth a thousand words… and thousands of trees: http://community.timberland.com/local-programs

The Quickest (and Cleanest!) Way to Plant a Tree

Two years ago, Timberland launched a community-based agroforestry program in Haiti that includes 8 tree nurseries run by volunteer farmers.  We connect those farmers with trees, seeds, tools and training, and they grow trees and crops to sell and eat.  It’s all part of Timberland’s commitment to plant 5 million trees before 2015.

You can help our agroforestry program grow without getting your hands dirty (although I understand that for some people, that’s half the fun) — and you might even learn a little something about yourself at the same time.  Just answer the personality questions in our Timberland “Hortiscope” (get it?) on Facebook to learn which tree species you most resemble.  When you take the quiz, we’ll plant a real tree for you in Haiti.

To learn more about Timberland’s commitment to regreening communities around the world, check out the tree planting section of our website.  And for more videos about our agroforestry program in Haiti, go to our YouTube channel.

May Means Mountainfilm

Colorado may be home to some of the best skiing in the states, but when the temperature warms and the snow melts, we love it for a whole different reason: Mountainfilm in Telluride.

To call Mountainfilm a film festival would be an understatement: it’s as much about the people that attend and the experiences they share as it is about the films that are shown.  Each year, activists, explorers and artists of all kinds congregate at Mountainfilm to examine environmental, cultural and social issues in a uniquely creative way — and to be moved and motivated to take their own action.

As a brand that appreciates creativity and is passionate about protecting the great outdoors, we’re excited to be the Official Footwear Sponsor of Mountainfilm in Telluride.  As part of our sponsorship, we’re going to be outfitting filmmakers and other Mountainfilm VIPs in our Earthkeepers footwear (made with recycled and environmentally-conscious materials), and encouraging festival-goers to be more eco-conscious in their own lives.  If you’re going to Mountainfilm, stop by the Timberland kiosk and make a pledge to reduce your environmental impact — we’ll plant a tree in your honor!

If you’re not traveling to Telluride, stay connected to all the best of what’s happening at Mountainfilm by visiting our Festivals page - we’ll be sharing stories, photos and videos from our experience there.

Have You Planted a Tree Today?

Because today is Arbor Day, which is all about honoring and celebrating trees.  And we can’t imagine a more appropriate way to show our appreciation for trees than by planting MORE of them.

It’s not too late, and you don’t even have to get up from your computer to do your part: just click over to the Hortiscope quiz on Timberland’s Facebook page.  If you take the quiz, we’ll plant a tree for you in Haiti.  Simple as that!  And in the process of taking the Hortiscope and finding out what tree best matches your personality, you’ll also find out more about the real trees we’re planting through our sustainable agroforestry program in Haiti.

You might say the Hortiscope has a personality of its own — fun and frivolous, but with a serious, responsible side.  The trees we’ll plant for Hortiscope takers will benefit volunteer farmers in Haiti; these farmers receive the necessary tools and training through our agroforestry program to run our nurseries, grow and sell crops and trees, and help rebuild their communities and their environment.   See for yourself:

To learn more about Timberland’s longstanding commitment to reforestation, visit our tree planting page.  Happy Arbor Day!