Posts within ‘Boots With Roots: Tree Planting’

Timberland PRO and SkillsUSA: Celebration and Service

Last month, Timberland PRO celebrated its 10th year of sponsorship at the 2011 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, MO.  The following slideshow features highlights from the week, including some of the activities that took place at the Timberland booth of the SkillsUSA “TechSpo,” and inspirational images from our annual day of service.

Our service numbers speak for themselves:

  • 200 volunteers served at the Westside Urban Orchard, one of the nation’s largest community orchards.  Their efforts will yield $60,000 in annual fruit production for the orchard.
  • 185 volunteers served at the Harvester’s Food Network, a food bank that feeds over 60,000 people every week.  Our volunteers packed up enough food to prepare 18,132 meals for the community and stuffed 1,500 backpacks to feed local children.
  • In addition to service day activities,Timberland PRO sponsored a virtual food drive with Harvesters which raised enough money to prepare 12,900 meals.

Our thanks to SkillsUSA for an unforgettable week, and for a decade of powerful partnership and impact!

In the News: Timberland Tree Planting in Asia

We’re pleased to share the following clip from Channel NewsAsia highlighting Timberland’s commitment to reforestation.  Kudos to Timberland’s team in Asia — from Singapore to the Horqin Desert in Inner Mongolia, they’re clearly pulling on their boots and making a difference for the environment!

Trees Build Communities

It’s a great community center. People have said to me, “We walk past each other on the street for years and never even said hello and now through this garden we know each other.”  There’s a sense of community and belonging and caring about the livelihood of the neighborhood.

Hannah Riseley White
New York Restoration Project

From inside the leafy green borders of a community garden in Spanish Harlem, New York, the following excerpt from our Dig It documentary examines the critical social and cultural benefits trees provide — positively impacting public health, safety and quality of life.

The Dig It documentary was created to highlight the impact and importance of reforestation, as illustrated through tree-planting efforts in several cities across the United States.  To view the Dig It documentary in its entirety, visit the Dig It page of our website, or email us at digitthefilm@timberland.com to receive your own DVD copy.

Passion for Planting in China

Nina Lin, one of Timberland’s Code of Conduct team members, shared with us this inspiring tree-planting story from a factory we work with in China:

Between  2009 and 2010, employees at Jiangmen Yi Xin Tanning Company Limited (“Yi Xin”) have planted nearly 2,000 larch seedlings on the mountain slopes surrounding their factory.  The company has focused on planting as a means of creating a greener environment, preventing the loss of soil and water, reducing noise and providing workers with a green as well as comfortable working environment.  The commitment is showing good progress, as those larch seedlings have grown into a forest little by little.

Yi Xin tree planting volunteers

This past March, a group of employees and volunteers converged once again at the foot of the mountain for another day of planting.  It had been more than two years since the first tree-planting activity, and the weeds growing up around the mountain were as tall as the larches.

In spite of the cold weather, the volunteers still worked with high passion, divided into many groups and assigned with different tasks. Some of us took out weeds, while others removed dead wood. We wielded our sickles, spades and hoes with big smiles on our faces, while the sweat drenched us.  Under our great efforts, the landscape surrounding our factory became greener and greener; it was satisfying to be able to put our environmental passion into action within our own community.

We look forward to planting more trees and continuing to improve the natural environment and our factory environment in the future.

Dig It, Part 1

“On this side of the house, it’s like 100 degrees for me.
If we could get some trees out here, I might be outside just playing.”

- Young resident of the William Meade Homes, Los Angeles, CA

Part 1 of our Dig It documentary highlights the social and health impacts of living in a community that’s void of trees … and the efforts of volunteers and activists alike who are determined to be part of a solution to the climate change problem.

You can learn more about the Dig it documentary and view additional footage from the film in the Dig It section of our website.

Dig It

What happens when citizens, musicians, organizations, corporations and governments come together as one to solve environmental problems?  Dig It, a Timberland documentary, tells the story:

Revolving around tree planting actions and beautification efforts in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Dig It focuses on the economic, health and safety impacts of tree planting (and the impacts of NOT having trees) and features passionate perspective on the issue of climate change from such diverse advocates as musician Stone Gossard, climate documentarian James Balog and Timberland’s own Jeff Swartz.  Dig It is directed by acclaimed photographer and film maker Danny Clinch.

We’ll be featuring parts of the Dig it documentary here on the Bootmakers Blog in weeks to come; to view the film in its entirety and to learn more about Timberland’s tree planting commitment and projects, click here.

The Best Video You’ll See Today That Doesn’t Include Royalty or Fancy Hats

Need to clear your head after a long day of Royal Wedding watching?  It’s Arbor Day — see what people had to say about this under-appreciated, under-celebrated and important holiday.

By the way — there were eight 20-foot high trees lining the aisle to the altar at Westminster Abbey for the big event today.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Bringing Back Arbor Day

Happy Arbor Day!

You don’t hear that very often these days.  Like a lot of things in life, traditional, straightforward old Arbor Day has been bested by a newer, younger, shinier competitor – Earth Day.  It’s Bugs Bunny vs. SpongeBob; K-Mart vs. Target; scotch vs. vodka; bowling vs. Wii bowling.  And to make matters worse, Arbor Day is a week after Earth Day which is like throwing a big party on January 2nd, or seeing fireworks on July 8th.  Tough to motivate…

And like the hottest new act or the trendiest designer, everyone wants a piece of Earth Day – green leaders, celebs, brands, bands, politicians, media companies and anyone looking to bask in the (environmentally-friendly) glow of Earth Day.   The gang’s all there.

That’s certainly not a bad thing – it’s a great thing.  Great that for a day at least, the big focus in our world is… our world.  Great that maybe it turns some “no-greens” into  “light greens” who will do their small part going forward.  Great for the Timberland brand, since we need the outdoors to stay great — or you don’t really need us anymore.

But at Timberland, we actually like authentic, traditional stuff.   Not stodgy or dated or out-of touch or boring, of course, but there’s something to the idea of simplicity – of basic, timeless activities done well or re-invented.   Like bootmaking, say.

So this year, we’re naming ourselves the Official Worldwide Footwear, Apparel, and Accessories Sponsor of Arbor Day. OK, not really – we’re not sure that’s actually legal without paying a fee to someone … but the thought is there.  At least for a day, we’re going to elevate Arbor Day because even though they give shade, trees deserve their day in the sun.  (I literally just made that up).

So why are we doing this?   A couple of reasons…

  • Our logo is a tree. Our first word is Timber.  Our second word is Land.  Not super-complicated.
  • We think trees are important. We’ve been planting them for 10 years in places like the Horqin Desert in China where reforestation is a critical issue.  Our six nurseries in Haiti are up and running and providing sustainable fuel and food for people in need.  For a large portion of the world, lack of trees is creating monumental environmental issues.
  • We like getting people involved with our brand.  We love to sell outdoor gear, but we also like making small differences.  Our CEO calls it “doing well while doing good” – the idea that you can mix commerce and justice if you just try a little harder.  And if you do, people will want to join in.

So, as the Official Worldwide Footwear, Apparel, and Accessories Sponsor of Arbor Day, we invite you to come join us for a few, easy-to-do activities on April 29th:

  • Plant a tree with us. If you can click, you can plant. With our virtual tree planting application on Facebook, just set up your own virtual forest, get your friends to stop by and help, and we’ll plant a real tree for every virtual one you plant.   No dirt, no mess, no need to do laundry.
  • Find out what kind of tree you are with our “Hortiscope” quiz on Facebook.   I’m an Oak, and apparently I’m “robust.”  That seems pretty good.  Better than a weeping willow, I suppose.
  • Check out our “Arbor What?” video on YouTube to see just how unknown and under-celebrated the holiday really is.

There’s a reason why trees got their own day 139 years ago – help remember why on April 29th.  Take a 10-minute break from watching Royal Wedding videos, click on over and plant one on us.  There’s just a small amount of pomp and no circumstance, but you’ll make a small difference.

The Evolution of Earth Day

It used to be that most Timberland employees worldwide celebrated Earth Day on or as close to April 22 as possible. I would wake up in New Hampshire and pull on my boots, jeans and service T-shirt, knowing that my colleagues in Asia were kicking their feet up after a hard day of service, that my European friends were in the post-lunch service push to get everything done before the end of the day, and that our West Coast teams would close the wave of service a few hours after us.

Over the past few years, we’ve added more flexibility to our global Earth Day events to maximize our impact and employee participation, and in recognition that it simply isn’t possible for every service project we lead across the globe to take place on the same day or even in the same week.

For example, the success of our tree planting projects (in support of our company’s commitment to reforestation) is much more dependent on seasonal weather than a date on the calendar:

Our team in China kicked off our global Earth Day “season” on April 1 by planting 350 trees – a continuation of the “Great Green Wall” program we launched a year ago. Meanwhile in India, it’s just too darn hot this time of year to put fledgling trees in the ground and expect them to survive. For that reason, our Indian colleagues will celebrate Earth Day in a couple of months when the weather will better sustain newly planted trees.

Somewhere between our events and China and India, other Timberland Earth Day events will take place. Projects and locations include:

  • New York, NY: Timberland is partnering with GrowNYC to help maintain the Wanaqua Family Garden in the Bronx – a 10,000 square foot plot of land that contains 20 community vegetable beds as well as a children’s garden where students and area residents come to visit. Some planned activities for the day include digging post holes for a shade structure, planting vegetables with students, cleaning up wrought iron fencing and planting garden boxes.
  • Madrid, Spain: We’re working with the Madridejos City Hall to plant 300 trees and build a fence to protect the area. Timberland’s 15 volunteers will be joined by 40 students who will engage in an environmental activity to learn the importance of reforestation and environmental protection.
  • Santiago, Dominican Republic: Approximately 300 Timberland volunteers will be joined by over 100 partners and community volunteers to plant 5,000 – 7,000 trees in “Rafey’s Park” in Santiago City. This project marks the continuation of an ongoing effort to reforest the park.
  • Dover, NH: 75 Timberland volunteers will serve at the Horne Street School in Dover, landscaping the area to complement the school’s newly renovated environmentally-efficient building. Sustainable landscape improvements will include a community garden, new fitness stations throughout the grounds, and outdoor group activities.

All in all, more than 7,200 volunteers will unite in Timberland-hosted Earth Day events – generating over 50,000 hours of service. At Timberland’s headquarters in Stratham NH, we will participate in eight community greening projects in the Seacoast area tomorrow, April 21.

If you’re busy on April 22nd and feel you can’t be of service on that day, lighten up a little and be flexible. No one said your commitment to better the planet needs to be focused on just one day a year. Do what you can, when you can … the important part is doing something rather than nothing.

Celebrate Earth Month With More Trees!

This is a very exciting week for tree planting at Timberland: in honor of Earth Month, we’re increasing the tree ratio in our Virtual Forest Facebook Application to 1 to 1. Forget about the complicated two-real-trees-for-every-25-virtual-trees shenanigans… we’re making it simple. From now on, when you plant one virtual tree, Timberland will plant one real tree in Haiti (up to one million). Now that’s something to celebrate!

This change to the app will be retroactive, bumping up the number of additional real trees we’ll be planting in Haiti to over 100,000 thanks to all of the virtual planting that’s been done so far! Planting a tree in the app is easy if you have a Facebook account. If you haven’t already, we invite you to join the Timberland Earthkeepers Virtual Forest and invite your Facebook friends to join, too: http://apps.facebook.com/timberlandtreeapp/

In partnership with Trees for the Future, the trees we’re planting will provide food, fuel and shelter for the people of Haiti. For example, one of the trees we’re planting, the benzoliv (moringa) tree, has leaves packed with seven times more vitamin C than oranges, four times more calcium than milk, and three times more potassium than bananas. That’s a real “miracle tree” for combating malnourishment — and together we can plant more of them in Haiti. So let’s get planting, invite our friends to help and spread the word!

Learn more about Timberland’s tree planting efforts in Haiti