Re-Tree has planted 26,565 street and park trees since it started nearly eight years ago, getting the funds through individual donations, corporations, and foundations.
Its first donor was Stanford Lipsey, who was the Buffalo News publisher when the campaign began in 2006. “Stan was quick to step-up and give us our financial start when we approached him years ago. Without him, I don’t think our area would be anywhere near as re-treed as it is now,” said Maurer. “Now, he is there for us once again, and his paper is still sticking with us till the final tree is planted in Buffalo!”
Another initial donor is National Grid. They activated an enormous response to the storm-challenged, getting power restored to hundreds of thousands of homes, against daunting odds. Their recovery plan for the devastated area didn’t stop at power lines, poles, and transformers, they donated $175,000 to Re-Tree as well. “Our crews witnessed first-hand the devastation to the area’s tree canopy, so we were motivated to help our area to fund the tree planting that Re-Tree had begun,” said Dennis Elsenbeck, Area Manager for National Grid. “We are now here to help them finish the great job that they started, by giving money to match what individuals donate to the News campaign.”
For this final push, National Grid is donating another $20,000 as part of the Re-Tree match effort, and has committed to as much as $20,000 more over two years as part of its own long-standing “10,000 Trees and Growing” program. That program offers municipalities the opportunity to received $50 per tree that meets program guidelines regarding trees planted in and around overhead electric wires. Interested municipalities need to apply directly to National Grid for this program.
The Buffalo Green Fund, Inc. was involved in the area’s arboriculture way before the storm of ’06, and they have also offered to be a matching donor. “Our whole purpose for many, many years has been to be stewards of the great tree heritage that is quite unique to Buffalo,” stated Cindy Sterner Kincaide, the Chairman of the Buffalo Green Fund, Inc. “We cherish what few cities in the world can boast about, but Buffalo can, that we have lovely streets with a lush canopy of green…this donation to Re-Tree helps to bring this back for all to enjoy!”
All donated funds are tax-deductible. Memorials are encouraged. All names will be published in the Buffalo News and online at www.re-treewny.org.