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Tree planting efforts aim to combat climate change

The Maui News

Organizations and residents will be planting trees and other plants in November as part of a statewide initiative aimed at making the state more resilient to climate change.

Rob Weltman, chief organizer of ReTree Hawaii, said “planting trees is one of the most effective actions ordinary citizens can take to mitigate climate change, and it will provide many additional benefits for Maui County.”

Weltman spearheaded a similar campaign last year when plantings were done statewide Oct. 30.

“Since trees offer so many ecosystem services, like protecting watersheds, filtering pollutants, enhancing biodiversity, all while sequestering carbon, we should absolutely be planting trees,” said Amanda Stone, Common Ground Collective president.

So far, 56 organizations are joining in the effort and 21 planting sites have been designated, according to a ReTree Hawaii news release.

People can register a site for planting or volunteer at retree-hawai.org/planting. Because of COVID-19, people are encouraged to also plant trees and gardens wherever they can, then register their plantings at the website.

“There has never been a more urgent time to invest in island resilience and adaptation,” said Andy Fox of Friends of Haleakala.

More information can be obtained by calling Weltman at (808) 354-0490 or by sending an email to info@retree-hawaii.org.

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