ACTrees, CSX, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Engage Youth Tree Stewards

ACT_Logo_2012_colorCSX in Brackets_COLORBoys & Girls Club of America

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 8, 2014 – Alliance for Community Trees (ACTrees), CSX, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America are partnering with ACTrees members to prepare the next generation of environmental stewards. ACTrees members and local Boys & Girls Clubs of America affiliates in 10 communities will receive a CSX Youth Tree Stewards Grant to support this work.

“Engaging youth to take an active role in caring for the environment is the important goal of the Youth Tree Stewards initiative,” says Executive Director Carrie Gallagher. “ACTrees is excited that CSX’s commitment to making communities cleaner and greener includes youth education.”

CSX Youth Tree Stewards Grants will fund educational sessions with Boys & Girls Club teens in and out of the Club during the 2014-2015 school year. ACTrees members will guide an environmental curriculum that focuses on three key themes: stewardship, leadership, and advocacy. Club youth will learn the vital role trees play in building sustainable communities and how to communicate this impact with others.

“This partnership allows CSX to support young people in learning more about tree planting through a valued collaboration between ACTrees and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America”, said Tori Kaplan, AVP Corporate Social Responsibility. “Developing the environmental stewards of tomorrow is a desired outcome of Beyond Our Rails, CSX’s community engagement program.”

These grants will engage youth in environmental stewardship in 10 communities across the country: Asheboro, NC – Trees NC; Atlanta, GA – Trees Atlanta; Bakersfield, CA – Tree Foundation of Kern; Baton Rouge, LA – Baton Rouge Green; Fort Wayne, IN – Hoosier ReLeaf; San Francisco, CA – Friends of the Urban Forest; Seattle, WA – City Fruit; Tulsa, OK – Up With Trees; Venice, CA – TreePeople; Worcester, MA – Worcester Tree Initiative.

Youth Tree Steward activities will include learning tree biology, identification, and proper planting and care techniques. ACTrees members will organize sessions featuring local environmental professionals like foresters, arborists, and elected officials. As a result, Club youth will be empowered to lead local advocacy efforts that build support and awareness of the benefits trees provide to their communities.