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Special Project

Special Project
From the 5th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Plant A Tree Day with One Tree Planted

Finalist in Community or Employee Engagement


There’s a strong need for reforestation on a global level, which is why we created Plant A Tree Day!

Through volunteer events, community engagement, and a call for anyone to plant trees close to home, this annual day is all about inviting people to directly connect with nature through restoration activity.  

All the volunteer events are organized in partnership with local partners and are free and open to the public. And despite the events being unified under Plant a Tree Day, September 28th, they were really spread out over a month-long period. Practically speaking, this created the flexibility to have more people participate in a variety of locations and activity types all uniquely suited for the needs and climate of the local environment.

There’s a common misconception that springtime is the best time to plant trees. We wanted to do something to raise awareness of the fact that fall is also a great time to get trees in the ground. Fall is a time of moisture from rain and diminished heat, which helps trees develop root systems without wasting energy on producing or sustaining leaves. This allows the roots to get well established before the relative dormancy of winter, and the result is a stronger root system for the following spring when the tree begins to grow and produce leaves or needles.

Plant A Tree Day provides a great opportunity to raise awareness about these ecological cycles while focusing on fun, actionable activities.

Strategy and Execution

The first official Plant A Tree Day was in 2018 with just a handful of events, and this grew significantly in the fall of 2019. One Tree Planted teamed up with local organizations to host tree planting and tree care events in over 50 cities in the United States, Canada, South America, and Africa. Trees were planted by an incredible group of happy, high-fivin’, nature-lovin’ volunteers all over the globe. 

From Brazil to Boston, Nairobi to Napa, in community parks and watersheds and playgrounds, what we saw was an incredible show of dedication from everyday people just like you creating the change they wish to see in the world. It all started with one tree, then another and another. 

The personal experience associated with tree planting events is priceless. Our usual planting events happen in specific locations around the world, so it's pretty rare for a volunteer opportunity to come up near where you live. With Plant A Tree Day, we were able to organize lots of events spread throughout North America so that many more people could attend. And these "hands in the dirt" experiences are immensely valuable and fun! It's a way to connect with the Earth, give back to nature, and become more engaged with your local environment.


For the 2019 event, over 1,700 volunteers came out to plant 6,000 trees as well as 2,000 other types of native plants, plus conduct supportive activities such as tree care, invasive species removal, trail-making, seed collection, and trash cleanup. Over 200 acres were restored in 96 locations around the world.

Here are just a few of the individual event highlights: 

Volunteers helped care for about 2 acres of trees at Colmar Manor Community Park, Maryland. The trees had been planted by One Tree Planted volunteers back in the spring, and this time participants returned to remove weeds, vines, and invasive species so that our trees can continue to grow and thrive. 

At  Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, California, volunteers participated in seed collection for a local nursery, with the seeds to be used in future reforestation and restoration activities. 

In Panama City, Florida, 175 native trees were distributed to local residents affected by category 5 hurricane Michael that made landfall on October 10th, 2018 in the Florida Panhandle. The  urban canopy was severely impacted by the storm and this event along with other activities will help replace the lost trees.

In Prescott, Arizona, volunteers removed over 2000 Ibs. of invasive plant species and debris (that is really hard work!), fixed irrigation lines, rerocked the plant basins, and trimmed some existing trees and shrubs. All of this was done in a vital riparian corridor.

In Nairobi, Kenya, volunteers planted 700 trees on the sites of two girl's schools.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

One Tree Planted


Entry Credits