Frequently asked questions

Reforestation

  • We collect most seeds from nearby remnant forests. If required to supplement the seeds we collect, we purchase seeds from local, trusted seed banks. We do not purchase seedlings; we grow our seedlings in our nurseries to ensure quality and germination rates.

  • We use various planting methods such as singling (farmer-managed natural regeneration), seed balls, seedling nurseries, bare-root transfers, and mangrove propagule planting. Each nation uses one or more of these methods depending on the species of trees that are native to that given region. Click here to learn more about the various planting methods we use.

  • We plant native tree species; these vary from nation to nation. We do not plant or introduce any invasive species at any of our project sites. We also plant a percentage of agroforestry species for sustainable community use. This prevents the community from going into newly restored forests and provides greater community benefit and involvement in the project. Click here to see the various tree species we plant across our project nations.

  • Land rights and authority vary from nation to nation and from planting site to planting site. However, the overwhelming majority of our forest restoration projects occur on government-owned land under the local community's direct authority. In contrast, we work on smaller scale agroforestry projects, as seen in many of our projects in Haiti. Agroforestry efforts typically occur at sites owned by small-scale farmers. The one consistent determining factor in each nation is that we have established legal Government Associations and/or Non-Government Organizations, which provide us with the authority to operate effectively and in coordination with all the essential regional and local governance agencies on crucial determinants.

  • The vast majority of the trees at our sites are owned by the local communities who actively participated in restoring their regional forest during their employment period with us. The common but much smaller exception is when agroforestry trees are planted at small plot farmer sites where the land is owned by the local farmer. In such cases, the small plot farmer owns the trees along with the proceeds from the trees.

  • Thanks to our in-country staff’s hard work, we have developed deep and respectful relationships in all levels of community and government departments. We make concerted efforts to form and secure written agreements with a clause leading to a perpetual forest. Further, to ensure protection in perpetuity, our funding strategy includes salaries for guards while we restore forests. We also have a Forest Guard Endowment to fund site guards after the regional forest is fully restored.

  • We make every effort to ensure the forest we plant becomes permanent and sustainable. Towards this end, we have implemented the following steps:

    • We work carefully with all levels of the government to secure written agreements designating the restoration sites as protected in perpetuity.
    • We do not plant in logging areas. There is never a 100% guarantee that some form of illegal harvest will not occur. However, we do everything within legal limits to ensure the restoration sites are guaranteed to stand in perpetuity.
    • We hire locals to plant the trees. In this way, we alleviate extreme poverty within the impacted community. The community members now have an economic incentive to ensure the well-being of the restoration project. They also have a sense of “ownership” over the trees and restored forest, and they protect it with great care.
    • We plant agroforestry species (fruit, fodder, and construction species designed to provide food security and benefit legitimate human needs). Over time these trees become a source of sustainable income.
    • We do all possible to supply the locals with alternative fuel sources (fuel-efficient dry wood stoves and solar parabolic stoves), which reduces and/or eliminates their dependence on charcoal.
    • We hire forest guards as part of the labor force. We have recently created a Forest Guard Endowment Fund for long-term guarding and protection of our sites.
    • Most significantly, we have seen the locals fall in love with their forest. They also recognize and benefit from the restored forest through increased fisheries, improved farming, cleaner water, and the formation of microenterprises.
  • Our leaders have developed reliable systems for counting and sorting the number of seedlings produced in the nurseries and/or the number of mangrove propagules collected. After the seedlings and propagules are collected and sorted, they are planted within designated sites.

    A percentage of seedling and propagule mortality is inevitable. However, we have discovered that mortality becomes irrelevant as natural regeneration begins to occur and multiply in impact. For example, at our mangrove sites, natural regeneration typically exceeds 150% of the original number planted. The same is true of the dry deciduous sites in Madagascar, and we already see the same multiplication effect in Nepal.

Getting involved

  • A few ways you can get involved include: becoming a corporate partner, becoming a foundation partner, purchasing through AmazonSmile, following us on social media, and donating. Please visit partnerships to learn more.

  • We are incredibly grateful for those who desire to volunteer with us. However, we do not have opportunities for individuals to volunteer at our planting sites. It is our mission to plant trees as well as alleviate extreme poverty. Therefore, it is essential that the planting work is given to those living in extreme poverty in our project nations. Their employment with us is often their only reliable source of income, so we do not have volunteers do any planting work to provide employment to as many people as possible.

  • We value each of our donors and appreciate your support. We do not offer the opportunity to visit the sites. We have a responsibility to operate in the best interests of our international employees. We do our best to protect and honor our mission and our employees' goals and culture.

  • All corporate partners start at the “Seed level” and move to higher levels based on total donations received. As partners move into a new tier, we update their partnership levels and announce it on social media. For more information on partnership levels, please visit our corporate partners page.

  • We are committed to dramatically scaling our tree planting operations in the years and decades to come. As such, we are cautiously open to considering cold-contact requests to open new project nations and/or new project sites within our existing project nations. However, we have established an examination process that typically requires a year or more of careful vetting. This critical examination process includes an evaluation of leadership capacity, scalability of planting operations, and the viability of financial and communication systems essential for success. Further, we are a non-profit organization, which means we depend on donations to fund our work. Therefore, we were not able to start a project unless it meets all the criteria established in the examination process. With all of the above in mind, if you would like your country or site to be considered, please email us at [email protected].

  • We do not have external resources available for those wishing to start/manage reforestation work. Our Founder and CEO, Dr. Stephen Fitch, developed our methodology for reforestation to help impoverished communities while he was in Ethiopia.

Donating

  • The general tree planting price is $0.15 per tree, provided that your donation is not designated to a specific project nation. Should you choose to designate your donation to a particular country, the price varies according to each nation’s planting and labor costs. Please see below the tree cost per nation:

    • Madagascar: $0.15 per tree
    • Mozambique: $0.15 per tree
    • Kenya: $0.15 per tree
    • Nepal: $0.15 per tree
    • Indonesia: $0.15 per tree
    • Haiti: $0.15 per tree
    • Honduras: $0.15 per tree
    • Nicaragua: $0.15 per tree
    • Brazil: $0.33 per tree

    This cost covers all expenses, including nursery costs, transportation of seedlings to the reforestation sites, planting, guarding, and weeding to allow a head start on vegetation.

  • Roughly eighty percent of the donation goes directly to the program, and the remaining percentage goes to administrative and fundraising costs. For example, a portion of the donation covers all of the nursery expenses and transportation costs associated with moving seedlings to the reforestation site as well as planting the trees and guarding them. The remaining portion is used for all administration fees and fundraising costs.

  • Yes, there is an option to dedicate the donation in honor or memory of someone on the donation page. Please click here to dedicate your donation.

  • We are a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization – Tax ID 95-4804581. Therefore, donations made to us can be deducted if it is accepted by your nation. We can provide a tax receipt for any donations made.

  • For security reasons, to update or change payment information, we would have to cancel your old subscription, and then you would need to start a new one. Please contact us at [email protected] for assistance.

For any additional questions please call, email, or send us a message on social media.