A Living Legacy

Diversifying Charlotte
TreesCharlotte Winter 2016 Newsletter

TreesCharlotte establishes an endowment fund to plant and care
for trees for decades to come


An old Chinese proverb says that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

In the same sense, the time to plan for the future of TreesCharlotte is now. The needs of our urban forest for replenishment and stewardship are permanent. As more trees are planted, it’s crucial that they continue to be cared for in generations to come.

“Charlotte’s tree canopy is iconic and for all time.  The permanence of the urban forest calls for a permanent steward for continuous tree replenishment and tree care,” says Dave Cable, executive director of TreesCharlotte.

Endowment Fund

TreesCharlotte has established the TreesCharlotte Endowment Fund to provide support for the operations needed for tree planting and care of our urban forest in perpetuity. The fund goal is $10+ million.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has made a $2 million leadership commitment that provides TreesCharlotte with an exciting opportunity: $1 million of the $2 million is a 1:1 challenge grant that will match every donation of the first million dollars raised. This endowment allows for other future donations and sponsorships to more effectively accomplish the mission of TreesCharlotte.

Ultimately, once the endowment is fully funded, TreesCharlotte would be able to cover the annual expense of planting trees through the interest earned rather than raising operating funds year after year.

The Future of Charlotte’s Trees

“Look out your window and think what would Charlotte be like with fewer or no trees,” says Rolfe Neill, TreesCharlotte board member and co-chair of the Endowment Campaign along with Thrus Morton.

“Unless we do something, we’ll have fewer trees. We need to take a Charlotte treasure and not only maintain it, but enhance it for the benefit of all.”

As Charlotte’s population continues to grow – and become denser – the pressure on the environment is increasing. “For livability, it’s important that we plan for trees,” says Rolfe. “Trees are dying – being cut down due to commercial development, billboards and some necessary reasons, but also other careless reasons. The death of trees goes on daily, so that’s why we need to plant a half-million trees, and we will.”

TreesCharlotte continues to plant thousands of trees of every variety each year, and if they’re properly cared for, the hope is that they will outlive us.

Educating Charlotte residents and youth about the importance of trees and proper tree care is an essential piece of TreesCharlotte’s mission. “Our job is to plant trees and maintain them, but also to educate our citizens so they will appreciate the value and become champions themselves,” says Rolfe.

Ways to Give

TreesCharlotte is a lean, efficient, highly effective collaborative, and the demand to plant trees is nearly endless. It simply boils down to having the proper amount of resources to buy trees and support volunteer planting and tree care efforts. The more you donate, the more trees TreesCharlotte is able to plant and care for.

We offer a variety of ways for you to contribute to the ongoing mission of TreesCharlotte and help us achieve our goal of 50% tree canopy by 2050. TreesCharlotte is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and all donations are tax-deductible.

You can donate money by using the envelope included in this newsletter or online at www.TreesCharlotte.org/support-us.

We also appreciate stock donations, which can be done online or by contacting Donor Relations at Foundation for the Carolinas, which oversees stock gifts, at 704-973-4529 or donorrelations@fftc.org Naming TreesCharlotte in your will or living trust is another way for your legacy to live on through Charlotte’s tree canopy.

Honorary Garden at Freedom Park

On ground made available by the Mecklenburg County, the Honorary Garden at Freedom Park will open this spring, celebrating Charlotte’s tree canopy and recognizing TreesCharlotte major donors. Adjacent to the bandshell on the hillside, the circular shaped seating area will feature a large, mature gingko tree as the centerpiece, which is known for its display of rich golden leaves in the fall. Pebbles fashioned in circles around the tree will be made to look like tree rings. The names of donors who have contributed $5,000 or more will be engraved on leaves that will be on large stone slabs surrounding the seating area. Stay tuned for the unveiling, which is slated for early May.

For more information about the TreesCharlotte Endowment Fund and to learn about different ways to contribute, visit www.TreesCharlotte.org/support-us