ReLeaf Michigan eNewsletter | November 2020
Do You Value What ReLeaf Michigan Does? Please Support Us!
Please consider supporting ReLeaf Michigan so we can continue to plant trees with communities throughout the state of Michigan and help Michigan breathe. We are thankful for your support!
Looking Back on a Year Like No Other
Thank You to the
Climate Change Club of Okemos!
Group of 6 to 12-year-olds raised over $650 for ReLeaf Michigan
We are always happy to receive letters from people expressing their support for ReLeaf Michigan, but we were truly delighted when we received a letter in the mail from Fiona Whitmyer, the 12-year-old president of Climate Change Club of Okemos. Fiona described how the group has been actively working to raise awareness and make a difference for the environment in four ways. First, through a series of fundraisers, including a bake sale, a can drive and an online camp, the Climate Change Club (or the CCC) had raised over $650 for ReLeaf Michigan. The group is comprised of 15 members, ages 6 to 12.

In addition to their fundraising efforts, the CCC has been working to educate their community on the importance of caring for the environment. They recently gave a presentation and hands-on workshop at a local elementary school and, at another elementary school, put up posters on greenhouse gas.

The group is also actively taking a stand for their beliefs. Several members of the group attended a recent environmental protest at the state capital, and they plan to write letters to local officials. In addition to these efforts, the group tries to minimize their carbon footprint by carpooling or biking when feasible, plus picking up litter when they see it.

We are so proud of this group and thrilled to be associated with them - in fact, we'll be working with them to do a planting next year. It's kids like these that remind us that we have a bright future, as more and more people learn about the urgency and importance of caring for the environment. With young leaders like this as our guides, we are taking steps closer to a world where we can all work together to solve the environmental issues in front of us. Thank you Climate Change Club for all that you are doing!
Healthy Trees Build Healthy Communities
Introducing a new feature to the ReLeaf Michigan eNewsletter, supported by our new sponsor, Priority Health.

Trees offer all of us incredible health benefits, some obvious and others less so. Each month we'll be highlighting one way trees improve our health.

Let's start with a big one most people know: trees help us breathe! Trees are working hard to convert CO2 into oxygen our lungs need to breathe. But it takes five trees to produce the amount of oxygen used by just one person, which is one of many reasons that we need more trees to keep up with all of us!

Many more ways trees keep us healthy to come in the future!
Welcome to Our New Project Forester, Ashley Laux
Our new project forester, Ashley Laux, joined ReLeaf Michigan in mid-September as part of the DTE Foundation Fellowship program. Many of you have already met her, as she was actively involved in many of the tree plantings this past month, but we haven't had the opportunity to formally welcome her to the team in our newsletter.

Ashley grew up in the Upper Peninsula in Houghton County. She holds multiple degrees from Michigan Technological University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, with a concentration in Actuarial Science, and a Master of Forestry professional degree.
"It wasn’t long after I started the Master of Forestry program that I felt inspired to share my experiences in nature with communities that didn’t have the same access to the wilderness that I had growing up in the U.P.," said Ashley. "I believe deeply in the mission of ReLeaf, and the work that we do. It’s an honor to inspire not only environmental stewardship, but hopefully interest in the profession."

Ashley recently moved to Dexter from the U.P. for the position. While she is working in the area, she hopes to run the Detroit Marathon, North America's only international marathon.

"I am personally thrilled that Ashley is on our team," said Melinda Jones, ReLeaf Michigan's executive director. "She has been a tremendous help this season and has not hestitated a second about jumping in with two feet. Welcome Ashley!"
Introducing New Municipal Memberships
ReLeaf Michigan Is Now Offering a New Opportunity for Municipalities
With ReLeaf Michigan's new Municipal Membership, residents receive the opportunity to engage directly with tree experts, access educational resources and better understand why trees are important to their community and a smart investment. For an annual fee, municipalities will receive:

  • "Ask an Arborist" Feature for Residents
  • Dedicated Webpage for Community
  • Educational Resources
  • Annual Presentation / Webinar
  • Tree City Application Assistance
  • Consultation Services Also Available

Contact Melinda Jones to learn more about this program.
The Big Tree Hunt Is On!
Don't forget - the 15th Biennial Michigan Big Tree Hunt is underway! This statewide hunt for the biggest trees in Michigan is open to everyone.

It's free to participate - just complete the entry form at to submit your tree. 

Looking for a Sponsor: We are currently looking for sponsors to support the costs of this popular family-friendly program. Contact our executive director Melinda Jones to learn how partnering with the Michigan Big Tree Hunt can create positive exposure for your organization.
Six Community Collaboration Project
Assessing and Improving the Tree Canopy in the St. Joseph Watershed Basin
In addition to our tree planting and education efforts, ReLeaf Michigan also helps communities on larger scale stormwater projects. Trees are the smartest way for a community to save on stormwater runoff costs. We've been working on a big project crossing state lines that will culminate next year. One of the reasons the grant was awarded to ReLeaf Michigan is due to the fact it is a inter-state collaboration. A great way to provide knowledge transfer.

The joint project with the Michigan DNR, the Indiana DNR, the St. Joseph River Basin Commission and Davey Resource Group is made possible by a USDA Forest Service Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant. An urban tree canopy assessment for six communities (three in Michigan and three in Indiana) in the St. Joseph Watershed Basin has been completed and the results of the assessment communicated to the communities. During 2021 we will work with the six communities to plant 50 trees with volunteers

The grant provides funding to assess the tree canopy in each community and identify ways to increase and improve tree canopy to intercept stormwater, reduce runoff, and improve water quality within the St. Joseph River watershed and the Great Lakes basin.
Get the Gift that Keeps Giving.
Shop at the ReLeaf Michigan Online Store!
Looking to send someone a gift to let them know you're thinking about them, something that will not only be appreciated but will also make a difference? Maybe a graduation gift to someone who loves nature or some new casual wear you can feel good about while you spend more time around the house?

ReLeaf Michigan merch items are available for sale directly through our online store!

Learn more about the items available by visiting our online store at the link below.
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