With the fast pace of life today most of us are increasingly aware of the many reasons to be thankful for trees: they filter our air and improve our soil, they provide shade and critical homes for wildlife. They improve our views, reduce our stress, and bring us together…but they also need our help.
That is why this Thanksgiving season the Hemlock Restoration Initiative wants to honor our intrepid volunteers. Without the tireless work of these dedicated individuals our North Carolina mountains would have far fewer trees to be thankful for.
In 2016 alone, HRI volunteers have extended the lives of over 1,000 hemlock trees from the tiny seedlings of the next generation to towering giants who have borne witness to more holiday seasons than any of us will ever know.
This year, over 80 hemlock heroes have participated in 12 workdays and events utilizing the diverse range of tools at our disposal to fight the dreaded hemlock woolly adelgid and restore eastern and Carolina hemlocks to long term health throughout their native range here in North Carolina.
On a typical hemlock treatment workday, our volunteers brave uneven terrain and snagging branches to ensure that the hemlocks they encounter receive chemical protection, extending the lives of these trees for up to five years or longer.
Our tireless volunteers climb mountains and navigate urban jungles to release and monitor predator beetles in the ongoing effort to ween our trees off of chemicals and establish a permanent, biological solution to the problem of HWA. They come from far and wide to dirty their hands, participating in ground breaking research aimed at establishing pest resistance in our native hemlocks with an eye toward future forest restoration.
Some volunteers join us only once, gaining practical knowledge to take away, to pass on to others and to apply to their own lives and lands. Others return again and again, bringing their exuberance and expertise to our endeavors. Our volunteers come from all walks of life—students, homeowners, conservation professionals and concerned citizens—and while their motivations may differ, the results of their participation are the same: healthier forests with more hemlocks for all of us to enjoy!
We are inspired by the talent and generosity that these volunteers bring to our organization and are humbled by their joy and dedication to improving the world that we all share. On behalf of the Hemlock Restoration Initiative:
THANK YOU to everyone who has taken time out of their busy lives to come out and work for this cause. You have done good, the effects of which will ripple outwards for years to come. We are deeply thankful and we hope to see you all again (and new faces too!) for the work that lies ahead in 2017.
To a warm and happy holiday season, with love and gratitude- the HRI
Please follow this link to browse the full photo gallery and get a close up look at what our courageous volunteers have been up to in 2016: https://goo.gl/photos/RdqgjE3t8mUGHENk7
To become a hemlock hero in 2017 please contact us directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org