2016 Keep America Beautiful/UPS Community Tree and Recovery Tree Planting Grant Applications Now Being Accepted; Nearly $950,000 Provided by UPS to Support Local Projects Since 2009
STAMFORD, Conn. (April 5, 2016) – Keep America Beautiful, the national nonprofit that envisions a country in which every community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live, and The UPS Foundation, which leads the global citizenship programs at UPS (NYSE: UPS), today announced the launch of the application period for the 2016 Keep America Beautiful/UPS Community Tree and Recovery Tree Planting Grants program.
The Keep America Beautiful/UPS Grant program, now in its ninth year, will award $160,000 in funds to more than 30 Keep America Beautiful affiliates to support locally-relevant projects. The Keep America Beautiful/UPS grant program, open exclusively to Keep America Beautiful affiliates, is intended to help: sequester levels of carbon dioxide through strategic plantings; emphasize the importance of native tree planting; or produce fruit from fruit trees for local consumption. Grants will also be given to affiliates to plant trees that will have a greater likelihood of withstanding natural disasters in communities that have lost a significant number of trees because of a recent natural disaster.
“Through this far-reaching tree planting initiative, The UPS Foundation is helping Keep America Beautiful continue to transform public spaces into beautiful places, especially those that have been hard hit by natural disasters,” said Jennifer Jehn, Keep America Beautiful’s president and CEO. “Every tree that we can plant will help restore and stabilize the tree canopy, making our communities more socially connected and economically sound.”
The UPS Community Tree and Recovery Tree Planting Grant Program is one element of The UPS Foundation’s overall support of Keep America Beautiful. The UPS Foundation also has supported Keep America Beautiful’s Vision for America Award, which is presented annually to distinguished leaders whose personal and corporate commitments have significantly enhanced civic, environmental and social stewardship throughout the U.S. UPS was the recipient of the Vision for America Award in 2007.
In addition to the grant funding, the program also links UPS employees with local Keep America Beautiful affiliates to provide volunteer support to plant the trees.
“It is a privilege for UPS to collaborate with Keep America Beautiful, an organization known for advocating for and protecting the environment,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and chief diversity and inclusion officer at UPS. “The UPS Foundation, through its Global Forestry Initiative, has a goal to fund the planting of 15 million trees by the end of 2020. Awarding these grants to Keep America Beautiful affiliates helps foster more resilient, sustainable communities and demonstrates UPS’s continued commitment to communities and the environment.”
Highlights of Keep America Beautiful initiatives supported last year by the UPS Community Tree and Recovery Tree Planting Grant program include:
Keep Pemaquid Peninsula Beautiful (Maine) – The grant award enabled Pemaquid Water Association’s Keep Pemaquid Peninsula Beautiful in Damariscotta, Maine, to work with its local the K-8 school that serves the peninsula to plant native trees on school grounds. The project is helping to teach the importance of native trees and gardening, dovetailing with an existing PWA gardening program (the Maine Apprentice Gardeners Program) at the school.
Keep Tupelo Beautiful (Mississippi) – The trees planted are helping to restore a 31-mile stretch of land destroyed by a Mississippi tornado in April 2014. Keep Tupelo Beautiful is also conducting classes on the importance of landscape design, planting native trees, and planning landscapes sustainably.
Keep Philadelphia Beautiful (Pennsylvania) – After Philadelphia was hit by Hurricane Sandy, it developed a plan to recover the canopy in the city with a goal of 30 percent tree cover. The grant was used by Keep Philadelphia Beautiful to plant 100 trees in an area of the city decimated by the hurricane.
Since 2012, The UPS Foundation and its environmental partners, including Keep America Beautiful, have planted more than 5 million trees in 46 countries in its effort to plant, protect and preserve trees in urban and rural areas in the United States and throughout the world. UPS reported that it surpassed the company’s 2015 tree planting goals, planting more than 2.1 million trees during that year’s grant cycle.
About Keep America Beautiful
At Keep America Beautiful, we want to ensure that beauty is our lasting signature. A leading national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. We envision a country where every community is a clean, green, and beautiful place to live. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people prevent litter, reduce waste, improve recycling, and protect the natural beauty of the areas around us. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. To learn how you can donate or take action, visit kab.org. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, like us on Facebook, or view us on YouTube.