One Million Trees for Lee
The One Million Trees for Lee campaign officially begins our mission of planting one million native trees right here in Southwest Florida!
OneTree.org & The Future Forestry Foundation will lead the planting of more trees than ever before. With the support of everyday folks like you, your donation will help determine how many trees we are able to plant and how soon.
Why does Lee County
need a large reforestation effort?
CONSTRUCTION CLEAR CUTTING
Lee County, home to the sunny cities of Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island and nearly 30 sprawling unincorporated regions has doubled in population in just a few decades.
Lee continues to be one of the fastest growing counties in America. Millions of trees have been clear cut in Lee to accommodate the population boom.
Charley, Wilma & Irma. Anyone who has lived here the past two decades will know exactly what those names mean. What they might not know is the tree deaths left in their wake.
Irma accounted for nearly 2 million cubic yards of tree debris hauled away. This doesn’t account for what still lays in countless treelines. An estimated quarter of a million trees perished in Lee County during hurricane Irma alone.
How do Trees Help?
Trees are the lungs of the earth. They’re also its filters. Trees capture airborne dust, pollen, as well as smog like carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide. This pollution is absorbed or washed from the leaves by rain down to the forest floor. The bi-product of this service? The oxygen we breathe.
Cleaner Drinking Water
Similar to a carbon water filter, the complex biomass of the forest floor filters rainwater as it passes through. The root systems carry this cleaner water deep into the ground contributing to our fresh water aquifers and springs.
Heavy rain accelerates into floods without trees. Trees prevent erosion and mudslides holding top soil in place. Healthy soil funnels water to the roots, wicking it deep into the earth.
Without trees, fresh water is lost to our oceans adding to the rising tides. Trees also sequester carbon and cool the climate, reducing global warming which is the known cause of sea level rise.
Protect Marine Life
Erosion and fertilizers pollute our watershed contributing to problems like red tide/toxic algae, dead zones and dead sea life. Trees capture rain runoff by rerouting it from the surface down their root systems. Forest floors also slow the flow of rain with sponge like biomass. Trees additionally capture carbon which otherwise sinks into the ocean leading to coral reef killing acidity.
Carbon Dioxide, aka C02, is an invisible gas emitted from burning fossil fuels such as gasoline in our cars as well as coal and natural gas in power plants. Each American releases around 15 tons of C02 into the air annually. A single mature tree can gobble up 50-100 pounds per year. A forest floor can sequester more than double that. Until we’re all driving electric, each American would need to plant 40 trees, each year, for 10 years to become carbon neutral.
Everyone knows you can escape swelter and sunburn under the shade of a friendly tree. Trees also capture and convert sunlight, heat radiating moisture and carbon dioxide, turning it into their own food, further cooling the air around us.
You’ve probably heard of Apex Predators. Trees are Apex Contributors. Trees sit atop the food chain when it comes to creating nature itself. Forests nourish a network of ecology that is shared with nearly every organism on earth. If you enjoy watching birds, squirrels or butterflies, you can thank a tree.
Increase Property Value
Trees paint our world in beautiful shades of green. People enjoy the outdoors for longer when more trees are present. Flowers and shrubs grow better with the help of trees. Neighborhoods, retail plazas and corporate centers with more trees have demonstrably higher occupancy and resale values.
Ways You Can Help:
Become Carbon Neutral
Go all the way and become carbon neutral!
The average American is responsible for approximately 20 tons of C02 emissions in a single year! A full grown and flourishing tree plus the forest floor beneath it can sequester around 100lbs of carbon dioxide in the same timeframe. When we factor in tree age and atrophy, we each need to plant 400 trees to begin to break-even with our emissions. We'll plant them for you.