Thursday, March 31, 2016

Planting trees with Salesforce and other partners

Recently, Earth Charter Indiana had the opportunity to plant a couple dozen trees. Sounds simple, doesn't it? Every year you see people coming away from Earth Day oriented festivals, with saplings in hand. How hard can it be to plant trees?

Not hard to plant them, but it is complicated to plant trees that will actually survive, grow, supply oxygen and sequester carbon. Oh, and be beautiful and provide homes for birds and other species.

It's ... complicated, indeed. Trees do a lot for us; it was nice to return the favor.

We were fortunate to get Jerome Delbridge of Treeo to help us. He managed the project along with Sam Parsons, an ECI board member and member of Salesforce's Earthforce team. Sam brought 50 Salesforce volunteers to help us plant the trees that we hope will grow for generations to come.

Everyone had an essential role. Our friends at Mud Creek Conservancy found a plot of land where owners would agree to maintain — i.e. water and care for — the new trees. Jerome determined what trees would thrive, and also managed the tool situation, along with the great people at Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.

Finally, we wanted to eat local, so were pleased to get a discount from Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza.

It took a village, in other words, to plant 70 trees. Thanks to all!

Ready for our afternoon of tree planting.
Various native species await their new home.
Jeff Ton (center right, paper in left hand) from Mud Creek Conservancy told the assembled about the Conservancy as well as the history of the land and the decision to not sell to developers — but to preserve nature for generations to come.
Jerome Delbridge, from Treeo, volunteered untold numbers of hours to help manage this giant project. Thanks, Jerome!
Jerome instructs Lauren Kastner, who used her day off work to join us, on how to remove the excess roots that might stifle tree growth. 
It takes a village of people, but also a couple of trucks to pull off a job of this size.
Part of our mission at ECI is to get kids working on stewardship projects like this one.
Molly, center, from Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Indy's specialist in tree planting and other ecological restoration projects.
Earth Charter Indiana board-mates, Lauren Kastner and Sam Parsons, plant a tree.
Mostly Salesforce volunteers, but also Mud Creek Conservancy, Earth Charter Indiana, KIB and Treeo.
Tools were provided by Marion County Health Department. The tools got a workout, as did we!

Earth Charter Indiana Night at the Indiana Pacers

We enjoyed a wonderful opportunity on March 29 to showcase our work with youth, thanks to Steve Miknis from the Indiana Pacers. Steve reached out to me a couple months ago, hoping we'd collaborate with Pacers as part of the NBA Go Green Week initiative.

Steve, you had us at "Pacers."

See photos below for a depiction of the evening, which included plastic cup capture (recycling) throughout the Fieldhouse, as well as our Hands on Indiana interactive art project. For pregame festivities, we were given Pacers Square for a series of presentations by youth on a variety of stewardship issues, along with a moment in the limelight at half time, honoring Earth Charter Indiana.

Who won? For the record, it was the Chicago Bulls, but I wasn't paying much attention. Instead I was too busy watching all the excited, happy faces of Indy's young people, enjoying a break from their hard work making their future more livable.

Contact me for more information on all the following projects:

Ansel got us started off with a presentation on recycling — and our plan that night to Dunk Your Cup!

Ella (left) dressed up as Ginny Weasley to talk about fighting climate change by purchasing second hand clothing, just like the Weasleys do.

Sidener Academy presented on their JustTrayNo project about polystyrene trays in their cafeteria.

Next up was The Orchard School's project to rid Wintercreeper from consumer shelves — it's invasive and takes over everything. These students recently took their case directly to the DNR.
High schoolers with Groundwork Indy engage in ecological restoration projects.
Dana (left) and Parker, sophomores at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, present on their project, Parkerhouse, serving the homeless population of Indianapolis. 
Maddie Brooks presents a Climate Change 101 slideshow for the assembled 100+ in attendance.
Maddie Adkins (left) presented with her friend Paige, on their Promise Project in Carmel, working with the mayor and city councilors on climate recovery and resilience.
Maddie Brooks gives a thumbs up at our youth gather at centercourt at halftime.
After their appearance at centercourt, this was one happy group of kids! There's Steve Miknis in the background on the left, thank you Steve!
We look forward to continued connection to the Indiana Pacers, as they up their game regarding sustainability. Our kids are there to help with enthusiasm, innovative ideas and joy.