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Reforesting America - restoring trees one at a time

Updated on January 19, 2015

Restoring trees to areas devastated by fires and insects

If you live in an area where fires seem to be part of the seasons, you have seen the devastation that they can cause. Mile after mile, the landscape is barren with just the stumps of the burned out trees. There are several different groups whose mission it is to reforest America. The California Federation of Woman's Clubs is one of the community level groups that is involved in raising money for the reforestation through the Penny Pines Project. It's a very simple program that has made a difference.There are other groups working towards the same goal. It is a big country and takes lots of people to make it happen.

Forest Wallpaper
Forest Wallpaper

The Penny Pines Project

Penny Pines is one way that helps to reforest America

In 1941, the San Francisco Sports-Woman's Association took up the challenge to reforest the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Northern California. They determined that it would take 680 seedlings to plant one acre, with the seedlings at one cent each. There is no hard data on the money they collected but they did it with one penny at a time. The Penny Pines Reforestation Project was started. The reforestation program was so successful that money contributed to purchase seedlings soon far exceeded appropriated funds available for site preparation and for the actual planting job.

The National Garden Clubs Inc, partnered with the US Forest Service in 2004. They have affiliates across the country that have raised money on the local and state level for the Forest Service's Penny Pines Reforestation Project.

Today the California Forest Service has plantations in every national forest. The national forest in California cover 20 million acres or about 1/5th of the state. These forests include a variety of vegetation types. These are beautiful areas that have been ravaged by natural and man-made fires, insects and disease. The fires may be destructive but insets and disease destroy seven times more forest. The Penny Pines help with the conservation effort. Replanting provides erosion control, ground water preservation, wildlife habitats and future shade for recreational areas.

The National Garden Club accepts donations in multiples of $68.00. This was the cost of planting one acre when the Penny Pines Reforestation Program was first started in 1941 and has been retained as a minimum donation through the years. For each $68.00 donation, a certificate of appreciation and thank you note is sent to each donor. An initial donation from an organization or individual or one honoring a deceased person, may also have a memorial plaque installed at a Ranger District Penny Pines Memorial. The complete information is below.

The Penny Pines Reforestation Program began in California as a statewide reforestation program but has expanded to all 50 states.

Destroyed by fire

Fire Destruction - Public Domain Photo
Fire Destruction - Public Domain Photo

National Forest Foundation

The 2009 Station Fire in the Angeles National Forest was one of the biggest fires in California history. The National Forest Foundation in partnership with others is replanting the trees that were lost to preserve the watershed. They currently have several other areas where they are working and those are listed as well.

Charities that support reforestation worldwide

Reforestation is worldwide. While the focus here is on America, there are many organizations that are reforesting the world. Each tree that is replanted makes the world a better place.

Reader Feedback

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wonderful work on this lens - our forests are so important, yet we destroy more and more every day. Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I grew up in the northern Minnesota forests and reforestation is close to my heart. Probably the sweetest gift I remember from when my Dad passed on was when someone planted reforestation trees in his name. Congratulations on being honored as the Best of Squidoo on the 2012 Earth Day Monster Board!...*

    • julescorriere profile image

      Jules Corriere 

      6 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      Congratulations on being featured in the Best of Squidoo 2012 Earth Day lenses. Blessed.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I like reading your lenses, your doing a great job keep up the good work!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens and a great program to give us forests back!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 

      6 years ago

      Love trees and forest, so you have a great lens

    • KReneeC profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens. I have never heard of the PP program. I think it is absolutely wonderful. There have been so many recent forest fires, particularly here in CO, I want to plant a tree for every one that had been lost!

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 

      6 years ago from Texas

      I'm glad there are so many programs out there that plant seedlings. I hate to see pastureland where all the trees have been removed. Thanks for the article!

    • BunnyFabulous profile image


      6 years ago from Central Florida

      That's really cool that the Penny Pines program has been so successful. I'd never heard of it until this lens.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      This is a great program, sorely needed. Love your photographs!

    • AgingIntoDisabi profile image


      6 years ago

      It's great to know people are genuinely interested in this. There are many urban areas that could benefit too.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Trees and forests take special place in my heart. I am hoping, one day maximum percentage of earth's green cover will be restored.

    • SaintFrantic profile image


      6 years ago

      Forest a special for me.I have always felt like home when walking in forests.Thank you.Great lens

    • norma-holt profile image


      6 years ago

      Love your lens. Featured on Blessed bySkiesgreen 2012 and also on Earthday and what is wrong with our planet earth, Hugs

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      6 years ago

      There have been some devastating fires in our area. Last year we drove through the site of the Los Angeles Station fire and didn't see a living creature for more than an hour. Not even birds. It will take decades for the area to be lush and green again.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens. I always wonder how I can help.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      We think we have to have a lot of money to do things, but the Penny Pines Program can motivate us to do what we can with even the pennies in our pocket. Now if I was really rich, I would buy up a lot of land and not let anyone build anything on it. Unless you are a beaver, then you can build yourself a dam.

    • MelonyVaughan profile image


      6 years ago

      A very inspiring lens - thanks for sharing! Happy Earth Day!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It's encouraging to learn about the Penny Pines Program. Thank you for publishing this lens.

    • KateHonebrink profile image


      6 years ago

      I remember helping my dad and brothers plant penny pines to add to the shelter belt around our farmstead. Living on the prairie, having some trees to stop the snow in the winter was critical!

    • kerilovesadeal profile image


      6 years ago

      I didn't know the Penny Pines Reforestation Program was in 50 states. Thanks! I'll either do that or Global ReLeaf as an environmental fundraiser with my youth group.

    • bushaex profile image

      Stephen Bush 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Certainly an overlooked and worthy endeavor. Thanks for making it more visible.

    • hsschulte profile image


      7 years ago

      Great list of reforesting resources and charities.

    • BlogsWriter profile image


      7 years ago

      I believe it is an important job for all of us to preserve our forests for the planet to be living worthy.

    • sorana lm profile image

      sorana lm 

      7 years ago

      Great project and excellent lens. Thanks for the info.

    • kimbesa2 profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Thanks! Timely now that we can plant trees in the north!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      7 years ago from United States

      Awesome lens with great information!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I think it's a great thing that people are helping to restore lost trees. Hopefully they are being replanted with fire breaks to help prevent massive destruction by forest fires in the future.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What a great lens.

      I wasn't aware of the penny pine project.

      Lensrolling to:

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      It's interesting to see in New England, areas that were deforested in colonial times, but are covered with thick forests now. It can regenerate, but let's give it a boost.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      8 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      At one time (may thousands of years ago) our continent was covered with Redwood forests. Now the Redwoods are just in California on the coast and in the Sierras. There's also another variety in China. Loss of these forest is a tragedy - they are so very beautiful. When I saw your title I was thinking it might be about replanting Redwoods everywhere... not sure it would work thought because the climate has changed over the years. I live very close to the Shasta-Trinity Forest (I'm in the middle of the Klamath National Forest, just north of the Trinity Alps and Marble Mountain Wilderness) . . . there was a huge fire there (in the Trinity County area near Weaverville) and I guess that's probably what they're trying to replant.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I came back here to comment on your ehow article, it's really good! I think the Penny Pines are doing great work!


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