ReGreen Tulsa Reaching Goal, Matching Grant Extended to Monday, Jan. 31
Through the end of the month, Tulsans can take advantage of a 3-1 match to quadruple any donation made to ReGreen Tulsa and do their part to help keep Tulsa a green, healthy community.
That’s because the ReGreen Tulsa program – launched to help replace thousands of trees lost in the devastating 2007 ice storm – has until Jan. 31 to try to fully realize two matching programs. Until then, any donation made to ReGreen Tulsa will be matched by Kathy Taylor and Bill Lobeck, and that combined total will be matched by the Tulsa Community Foundation. That means that every $1 will turn into $4 to plant trees in Tulsa.
ReGreen Tulsa is a partnership of Up With Trees, the City of Tulsa, and the Tulsa Community Foundation. Its goal is to plant 20,000 trees — 10,000 planted in public spaces by non-profit Up With Trees, and 10,000 planted by other groups. Estimated cost is $3 million. To kick off the effort in 2008, the Tulsa Community Foundation pledged a match of up to $1.5 million. In December, when the fund was still $200,000 short of the $1.5 million in donations needed, Taylor (the force behind creating ReGreen Tulsa when she was mayor), pledged to match dollar for dollar all donations made up to $100,000. So when a donor makes a tax-deductible donation of $100, the Taylor-Lobeck match will make it $200, and the Tulsa Community Foundation will match the total, making it $400. So far, that has meant an additional $40,000 ($80,000 counting the match.). If the remaining $80,000 can be raised, that will mean a total of $320,000 more to go toward tree planting in Tulsa.
“This double match is an incredible opportunity,” said Up With Trees Executive Director Anna America. “When people choose to give, they want to make their donation go as far as possible, and the Community Foundation, along with Kathy Taylor and Bill Lobeck, have allowed donors to have four times the impact they could have by themselves. If anyone out there is considering a donation, this is the time to do it!”
The second part of the 20,000-tree planting goal (10,000 trees planted by others) has been completed, with well over 10,000 trees being planted thanks to a grant from the Apache Foundation that allowed Up With Trees to distribute 3- and 5-gallon trees to area non-profits, schools and faith-based organizations. Originally, the goal was to get the other 10,000 trees in the ground by the end of the 2010 planting season (around March 31, 2011). Although more than 7,500 of them will be planted by then, some will be planted next year, and if the rest of the money is raised, the final 1,500 or so will be held in reserve for highway beautification planting after work on the I-44 corridor and the Inner Dispersal Loop is completed.
The cost of each tree is about $300 (for tree and materials, plus cost of planting, watering and maintenance). So when matched, each $75 donation can fund another tree to help clean the air, provide welcome shade, and beautify the community. Tax-deductible donations can be sent to ReGreen Tulsa, c/o Up With Trees, 1102 S. Boston Ave., Tulsa, 74119, or via credit card by calling 610-8733 or online at www.upwithtrees.org.
Some ReGreen Tulsa numbers:
-Total trees planted toward the 10,000 goal: More than 6,500 – will be more than 7,500 by March 31.
That includes:· More than 1,400 trees at city and county parks
· More than 2,600 trees at public schools
· Nearly 500 trees in neighborhoods (through the NeighborWoods program).
· More than 600 trees along City Streets , in medians, at fire stations and other public places
Total number of trees has helped others plant: More than 40,000 in the region, thanks to a grant from the Apache Foundation that allowed us to distribute free 3 and 5-gallon trees to non-profits, churches, schools and other community groups.
-Total number of donors: Since its inception, more than 700 individuals, companies and organizations have contributed to ReGreen Tulsa. Major donors include Enterprise Rent A Car — $165,000; – — $150,000; Home Depot Foundation, $120,000, Kathy Taylor and Bill Lobeck (up to) $100,000; Stacy Schusterman, $50,000. Up With Trees was the largest single donor, putting in money collected from several fundraisers for a total of $350,000. But the bulk of the donations have come from individuals, families and small groups, with hundreds of people making donations ranging from $10 to $100.
Just a few of the many examples of the impact ReGreen Tulsa has had around the city (with contact info if additional comments are desired):
Emerson Elementary School , where we planted 28 trees (one of our first school plantings) in April of 2008. The trees were described having “instantly enlivened (the school’s) space. With their inclusion (the) walking track turned into a park … students took pride in the work they did and were excited to know something they helped with will be (there) for years to come” (thank you letter and picture attached). — Contact person: Diane Bennett, Principal (918) 925-1320.
More than 75 volunteers from Asbury United Methodist Church and Navy Recruiters helped plant 80 trees on Alcott Elementary School’s campus, located at Frankfort and 46th Street North. The campus, in particularly the playground and play equipment, was absolutely devoid of shade aside from a tree or two in front of the building. The school’s courtyard had no trees; now the view outside the classrooms will contain beautiful blue atlas cedars, redbuds, whitebuds.
Kipp Elementary School used ReGreen trees to enhance the green spaces in their outdoor classroom, designing the layout of the treescape to serve as “walls” for the play space.
Heller Park was one of the most heavily damaged parks in the ice storm, in particular losing many mature pecan trees. With the help of OU Pharmacy students and Neighborhood Association volunteers, we planted 58 trees, including many pecans.
Hoover NeighborWoods and Darlington Park — We planted 35 in the park with volunteers from Americorps in 20-something degree weather, as well as an additional 30 trees in homeowners front yards. Contact: Joyce Boltz, Neighborhood Association Leader, NeighborWoods Leader, (918) 749-9929.
Not only was Home Depot one of the major funders for ReGreen Tulsa, donating $120,000, but its associates are some of the most enthusiastic volunteers. Home Depot volunteers provided manpower for two plantings at Community Action Project Early Childhood Centers, planting 35 trees at Reed Center, and 40 trees at Skelly Center. Both campuses were completely devoid of shade, the newly planted trees instantly brightened the campuses.
Following is a letter from former Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor on behalf of the Lobeck-Taylor Foundation. Please read:
Tulsans experienced the worst ice storm in our history in December of 2007, during my time as Mayor. It has forever defined my personal understanding of the short- and long-term impacts of natural disasters and the ability of our city to respond. As we worked to deal with the immediate, short term emergency to turn on the power for nearly 75% of our City that was without during that cold winter, we realized the long-term impact of the loss of 20,000 trees right here in the heart of Green Country.
After addressing the short term emergency, we began to assess how to regreen Tulsa by replanting 20,000 trees by 2010 and insuring those trees would withstand Tulsa’s weather, not be as likely to interfere with power lines and be equally distributed around our City. ReGreen Tulsa was born as a collaborative effort between the City of Tulsa and the non-profit Up With Trees. Donors with the Tulsa Community Foundation stepped up with a $1.5 million matching grant and we set our goal—to raise a total of $3 million to replant 20,000 trees by 2010.
My husband, Bill Lobeck, and I believe so strongly in fulfilling this commitment that we have pledged to match every donation made between now and December 31 until we reach our $3 million goal. will match our combined donations, making every dollar you give become $4 to help Tulsa maintain the beauty and health of our community.
I’m asking you to consider donating to help us reach our goal. The $1.5 million matching grant expires December 31 and we need to raise another $200,000 to receive the grant and reach our goal of 20,000 trees by 2010. It is easy—go to www.upwithtrees.org or call 918-610-8733 to donate by credit card or send donations to Up With Trees c/o Tulsa Community Foundation 7030 South Yale, #600, Tulsa, OK 74136-5749.
A wise proverb says “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.” Please join us in completing this important commitment to future generations of Tulsans.