By Darryl Alder
Apr 22, 2016

Plant a Tree for Earth Day 2016

Solo Entrada Biker

In wilderness is the preservation of the world.–Henry David Thoreau. Find your wilderness at Entrada High Adventure Base

litter partol

We have met the enemy and he is us.– Walt Kelly. Unless of course, you are a Den of eager Cub Scouts out to clean the world.

Earth Day has a special place in the BSA’s culture. As our members know, responsible stewardship of the planet is key to being a good Scout. Since BSA’s early beginnings, Scouts have been caring for the planet. Our “Leave No Trace” principles demonstrate how Scouts show respect for the outdoors when living in it.

For Earth Day this year, we have selected several images and quotes to help us remember who we are what what our part is on this home we call earth.

The Summit’s Sustainability Treehouse teaches visitors about environmental responsibility.

The Summit’s Sustainability Treehouse teaches visitors about environmental responsibility.

BSA National High-Adventure Base, the Summit Bechtel Reserve is a phenomenal example of sustainability in Scouting. This February, the Summit officially received certification from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), an organization highly-regarded for third-party forest management standards. SFI recognized the Summit for meeting the Forest Management (FM) Standard in the management of more than 14,000 acres of West Virginia forest where the High-Adventure Base operates.


I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.– Frank Lloyd Wright.  Philmont Training Center Outdoor Chapel at sunrise; a great place to worship.

The Summit joins BSA’s Philmont Scout Ranch in receiving this certification, further demonstrating that environmental responsibility is a priority throughout our organization. In fact, we’re on a mission to plant one million trees at the Summit and other BSA properties.

Over the next five years, as Earth Day moves closer to its 50th anniversary, planners are calling on you to help them achieve one of their most ambitious goals yet —they want to plant 7.8 billion trees. So let’s start now.

Why Trees?

Trees help combat climate change.
They absorb excess and harmful carbon-dioxide(CO2) from the air. In fact, in a single year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of CO2 produced by driving the average car 26,000 miles.

When we arrived 22 years ago this house was surrounded by dirt; now there are 85 trees in inventory

When we arrived 22 years ago this house was surrounded by dirt; now there are 85 trees in inventory

Trees help us breathe clean air.
Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.

Trees help communities.
Trees help communities achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability and provide food, energy and income.

Start Small
Twenty-two years ago we moved into our home. Each year, we planted four or five trees. Now there are just over 80 trees on our third of an acre.

Planting just a few trees a year really leaves a legacy over time. In fact, my yard produces seedlings at a rate of about fifty a year. So these days, I have to give away trees.

Where to get ’em

For a list of other tree suppliers, see Utah Native Plant Society  or visit A Place to Give to learn how you can help plant a tree in the spirit of Earth Day.

What will you do for the Earth today? I gotta run, there is a tree in the yard that needs a pot so that I can take it to the new house; yep, I am starting all over again.

Darryl head BW
Author: Darryl Alder | Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA. He managed Native Plants greenhouses in the 1970’s and landscaped homes
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