250,000 trees to be planted under ‘Hurricane Tree Recovery Campaign’
US-based telecommunications company Verizon has pledged to plant more than 250,000 trees in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico as part of its tree restoration efforts in the areas affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Verizon has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation, a non-profit conservation organisation, which recently launched the Hurricane Tree Recovery Campaign. The campaign aims to plant a total of 5 million trees over the next 5 years as a way to contribute to the rebuilding of the affected communities.
Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation President, said: “Verizon continues to be a leader in tree planting in our great nation, not only as stewards of our national forests but now, through this commitment, stewards of our communities as well”.
“Because of Verizon’s expanded commitment to tree planting, communities affected by the recent hurricanes will be on their way to regaining the benefits that the lost trees provided such as clean air and water, as well as natural beauty”.
This is the second time the two organisations collaborate on tree plantation in hurricane-hit regions, as over the past one and a half years, they have already planted approximately 100,000 trees.
Jim Gowen, Chief Sustainability Officer for Verizon, commented: “Thousands of people are continuing to feel the impact of the hurricanes, including our customers and employees. We have made a commitment to aid in disaster relief efforts, and do our part to repair the communities affected by these storms”.
In August and September, hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria destroyed thousands of homes and critical infrastructure leaving Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico with a combined damage of over $200 billion.
According to Arbon Day Foundation, although insurance will cover some of the costs to rebuild damaged infrastructure, they never compensate for lost trees and landscapes in the communities.
Tom Boggus, Texas state forester, said: “Trees and forests not only play an essential role in creating healthy, thriving communities where our citizens live, work and play but are also critical to the economic engine of Harvey-impacted areas and essential to our recovery efforts”.
Mr. Lambe added: “It may take years for these canopies to be restored, but now is the time to begin. While it could be months until final disaster numbers are reported, what we do know is that these events and our need to act are dire”.
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