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.”
The Keystone Tree Fund includes a voluntary $3 check-off box on Pennsylvania driver’s license and vehicle registration online applications. In January of this year alone, $23,000 came into the fund — $3 at a time!
Donation 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.
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.
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.
NATURE NUGGET: Hummingbirds don’t need any red dye in their feeders. The feeder itself has more than enough red on it and the dye is not good for them.
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“Porcupine Pat” McKinney is environmental education coordinator for the Schuylkill Conservation District and provides programming for people of all ages with an emphasis on schools, public programming and nature center development. “Porcupine Pat” hails from Marion, Ohio and has a BS with Distinction in Natural Resources – Environmental Interpretation from Ohio State. He is a recipient of the prestigious Sandy Cochran Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Education from the PA Forestry Association, the Schuylkill Pride Award, and the PAEE “Outstanding Environmental Educator Award.”