Whether it’s acorns filling the bellies of black bear, maple trees providing leaves for caterpillars to munch, or clumps of pine trees offering nesting for brown-headed nuthatches, trees are essential for wildlife. Trees also improve water and air quality, reduce pollution and help lower temperatures by providing shade. Trees make significant contributions to our communities by enhancing quality of life, boosting property values and beautifying neighborhoods

North Carolina Wildlife Federation is celebrating these environmental and ecological resources with a Trees4Trash Neighborhood Tree Challenge, October 31 through November 7. The full schedule is below.

NCWF chapters and affiliates across the state will host tree and shrub planting, trash cleanups and trash for tree exchange events. The goal is to remove 3,000 pounds of trash and plant 500 native trees and shrubs in underserved communities in areas near streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and wetlands. 

“Our virtual Trees4Trash cleanup effort in May was a huge success, with many folks across the state cleaning up trash to help protect wildlife,” said Tara Moore, Director of Conservation Partnerships. “We wanted to keep the momentum going for this event by focusing on a far-reaching push across the state to get native trees and shrubs planted in the ground.”

Participating chapters and affiliates have their choice to host a tree planting event, trash for tree exchange, or both. For the trash cleanup, volunteers will gather in a specified location to collect trash and return it to the event leader for weighing. Each person who turns in a 25-pound bag of trash will receive one tree or shrub to plant. Due to COVID protocols and space limitations, participants must pre-register for any of the Trees4Trash Neighborhood Tree Challenge events. The full schedule of events can be found below.

“These are pandemic-friendly opportunities to engage our members and neighbors safely and fulfill our mission to protect and restore wildlife and habitat,” said Glenda Steel, chapter leader of the Concord Wildlife Alliance (CWA).  

On October 24, CWA is partnering with the City of Concord and Gibson Village Neighborhood Association to pick up trash for the biannual Adopt-a-Stream Cleanup at the Irish Buffalo Creek Basin. “This year, thanks to NCWF, volunteers will receive a free tree or shrub, which is a win-win for the environment and neighborhood,” Steel said.

A second CWA event will take place November 7 at the J.W. McGee City Park, a Certified Wildlife Habitat on the McEachern Greenway. The location is special, Steel said, because it’s where the city made the announcement in February 2015 that it had achieved National Wildlife Federation status as a Community Wildlife Habitat

Unfortunately, the park was recently afflicted with an infestation of Emerald ash borers, non-native invasive insects that have killed more than five trees in the park. “City Arborist Bill Leake has a goal to plant twice as many trees as he removes on city property and he is losing the battle,” Steel said. “Our plan is to plant six native trees and 12 native shrubs. The trees NCWF chapters and affiliates plant on behalf of NCWF will offer environmental, social and economic benefits for years to come.”  

Register today for a Trees4Trash Neighborhood Tree Challenge in your community! The schedule of events is below. If you don't see one in your neighborhood there are still ways to get involved!

The Charlotte Wildlife Stewards (CWS) chapter is inviting individuals to undertake smaller cleanups in their own neighborhoods and report them to the chapter between October 25 and October 31.  Click here to learn more. You can also make a donation to offset costs of cleanup and planting supplies, and native trees.

 

Trees4Trash Neighborhood Tree Challenge Event Schedule

Greater Charlotte Area

Saturday, October 24th, 9am-Noon in Concord, NC: Cleanup at the Irish Buffalo Creek Basin hosted by the Concord Wildlife Alliance chapter  http://weblink.donorperfect.com/CWA_Trees4Trash-Event

Saturday, October 31st, 9am-Noon in Charlotte, NC: Tree Planting at South Mecklenburg High School hosted by NCWF and TreesCharlotte http://weblink.donorperfect.com/NCWF-Trees4Trash-Event

Tuesday, November 3rd, 9am - 1pm in Midland, NC: Tree Planting at Rob Wallace Park hosted by the Concord Wildlife Alliance chapter http://weblink.donorperfect.com/CWA_RobWallacePark

Saturday, November 14, 10am-Noon, Mooresville, NC: Tree Planting at Stutts Marina hosted by the Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists http://weblink.donorperfect.com/StuttsMarina-Planting

Triangle Area

Saturday, October 31st, 9am-Noon, Fuquay-Varina, NC: Tree Planting at Lincoln Heights Elementary School hosted by the South Wake Conservationists chapter  http://weblink.donorperfect.com/LincolnHeightsPlanting

Friday, November 6th, 10am-Noon, Raleigh, NC: Tree Planting at the North Carolina Museum of Art Park hosted by the South Wake Conservationists chapter http://weblink.donorperfect.com/NCMuseumPlanting

Other Locations

Saturday, October 24, 9am-Noon, Wilmington, NC: Tree Planting at Greenfield Lake Park hosted by NCWF, Plastic Ocean Project and Cape Fear Alliance for Trees http://weblink.donorperfect.com/GreenfieldLakeEvent

Saturday, October 31, 8:30am-12:15pm, Midland, NC: Tree Planting at Clear Creek hosted by the Union County Wildlife chapter. Registration for this event is at capacity.

Friday, November 6, and Saturday, November 7, from 9am-Noon in Fontana Dam, NC
Sunday, November 8, from 1-4pm in Fontana Dam, NC: Three day cleanup at Fontana Lake hosted by NCWF Trees4Trash and community partners. 

Please contact Tara Moore, NCWF Director of Conservation Partnerships, at tara@ncwf.org to learn more.