Wednesday, March 31, 2021

DCNR Blog: Support Tree Planting Along Streams And In Communities

There’s now a way to donate to planting trees along streams and in communities!

The newly established Keystone Tree Fund can accept direct donations of any size, as well as receiving $3 donations when you renew your driver’s license or vehicle registration.

“Across the Commonwealth, we are seeing growing understanding and interest in planting trees as a natural solution to many issues -- for climate resilience, improving water and air quality, and helping with flooding,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “The Keystone Tree Fund gives everyone the opportunity to support that work.”

Donating to the Keystone Tree Fund

The Keystone Tree Fund includes a voluntary $3 check-off box on Pennsylvania driver’s license and vehicle registration online applications.

In January alone, $23,000 came into the fund -- $3 at a time.

The fund also can accept direct donations that will support the existing TreeVitalize and Streamside Forest Buffer programs through DCNR.

Ideas include:

-- Memorial contributions in honor of a friend or loved one

-- Birthday party contributions instead of gifts

-- End of year charitable donations

-- Offsets for your carbon footprint

Donations can be made out to “DCNR c/o Keystone Tree Fund,” and mailed to:

PA DCNR Bureau of Forestry

ATTN: Rural and Community Forestry

400 Market St., 6th Floor

Harrisburg, PA 17105

House Bill 374, which outlined the Keystone Tree Fund, was signed by Governor Tom Wolf in November 2019. Money also can be appropriated to the fund through the budget process.

Supporting Streamside Forest Buffers and Urban Trees

Funds in the Keystone Tree Fund will be used by DCNR to help plant urban trees, and trees along streams to assist with water quality.

Trees remove from the atmosphere and store carbon dioxide -- critical to helping address climate change.

Streamside Buffers

DCNR is leading the effort involving many partners from all levels of government and many non-profits who also plant and fund streamside buffers.

Trees are one of the most cost-effective tools for improving local water quality.

Streamside tree and shrub plantings can:

-- Filter the runoff of pollutants from the land

-- Control erosion

-- Slow down runoff during heavy rains

-- Provide privacy and shade

-- Cool stream temperatures

-- Improve fish and pollinator habitat

Pennsylvania has a goal of planting more than 86,000 acres of stream buffers statewide to improve rivers and streams in the commonwealth and help the Chesapeake Bay.


Tree-lined streets make communities look great, and they also clean the air, provide shade to cool buildings and paved areas, increase property values, and help control stormwater.

TreeVitalize is a public-private partnership established by DCNR to help build capacity within communities to plan for, plant, and care for trees.

It also offers educational trainings to help citizens understand the diverse benefits of trees and the importance of properly planting and maintaining them.

Volunteer to Plant Trees

Like to get your hands dirty instead? Here are some ways to find volunteer options:

-- Volunteer opportunities are occurring in state parks and forests with safety protocols in place. Check the DCNR Calendar of Events.

-- Volunteer with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay in Pennsylvania.

-- Join the Keystone Ten Million Trees Partnership.

-- Check the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Tree Programs or TreeVitalize Pittsburgh

-- Call your local Penn State Cooperative Extension office or municipality.

Related Articles:

-- DCNR Blog: Forested Stream Buffers Grow Clean Water And Local Businesses

-- DCNR Posts Daily, Statewide Wildfire Danger Maps To Highlight Spring Wildfire Season

[Posted: March 31, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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