In celebration of Arbor Day, Keep America Beautiful (“KAB”), alongside affiliates Keep Orange County Beautiful and Keep Texas Beautiful, is pleased to launch Orange County RETREET, an effort to heal the landscape of Orange County, TX, which has been devastated by numerous hurricanes and tornados over the past decade.
“Orange County RETREET will address an often-overlooked part of the recovery process,” said Grady McGahan, Senior Director of Green Strategies & Community Development for KAB. “Trees are destroyed alongside housing and infrastructure in every natural disaster, and, of everything lost, trees take the longest to replace because you cannot rebuild them. Planting new trees brings life back to neighborhoods and produces an immense psychological impact by making decimated landscapes feel like home again.”
These trees, which will serve as powerful symbols of hope, also will reestablish the environmental identity of Orange County, providing shade, energy savings, stormwater management, pollution reduction, and myriad economic benefits for residents, as well as habitat for wildlife. Orange County RETREET will be a major investment that will leave a legacy for generations to come.
This signature tree planting event is made possible through generous contributions from Dow,Chevron Phillips, Lamar State College Orange, and Solvay, with operational support from Orange County Disaster Rebuild and a host of other local partners.
“Dow is proud to be a part of the Orange community, and of this uniquely impactful event. Orange County RETREET will be an exciting day when we all come together with our neighbors and industry partners to plant trees that will beautify and improve the environment for countless families,” said Christina Babcock, Public Affairs Leader for Dow.
How Disaster Survivors Can Request Trees
Owners of residential properties in Orange County that have been impacted by natural disaster over the past 10 years are able to visit retreet.org/orange to complete a simple online form to request that free, native trees be planted for them. The trees will be 1.5″ caliper in size, about 7ft to 9ft tall.
RETREET program staff and local partners will work with as many of those who submit requests as possible in order to determine the best planting locations at each home site. The trees will be delivered and planted by volunteers during Texas Arbor Day weekend-November 3 + 4, 2023. All owners of impacted properties can complete their tree requests online now. Representatives from RETREET will reach out as the planting event draws near to walk homeowners through program.
Inquiries about Orange County RETREET can be submitted to Jeri Irby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep America Beautiful (“KAB”), the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their environment. KAB provides the expertise, programs, and resources to help people end littering, improve recycling, and beautify America’s communities, and empowers generations of community and environmental stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, educational curricula, practical advice, and other resources.
RETREET is a flagship program of KAB that redefines disaster relief by engaging communities to replant lost trees. To date, the program has brought 6,493 trees to thousands of families recovering from natural disasters in communities across North America. There is no other agency focused on this unique, important, and underrepresented part of the recovery process. As such, the RETREET program has become the national standard in this work.