Trees Forever is working hard to support our communities while keeping physical distance as we weather this pandemic. Even during these hard times, together we are on a mission to plant and care for trees and the environment by empowering people, building community and promoting stewardship.
Currently all of our in-person workshops and programs are postponed or will be online. Our Marion office is closed to visitors for the time-being. Please call or email if you need assistance or have questions.
When activities resume again will depend on many factors, including the regional impact of COVID-19. With a large geographic reach, our staff is constantly evaluating the regions we serve, as well as if an activity or service can be provided in a different way, such as a planting with more physical distance between participants or a workshop that could be a webinar, etc.
Trees build community and help us connect to the places where we live, work and play. In light of COVID-19 and the impact it has had on all of us, Trees Forever is dedicated to supporting our communities and continuing to make connections through tree plantings. Together we are on a mission to plant and care for trees and the environment by empowering people, building community and promoting stewardship.
Below are our recommendations to our communities and tree committees:
Those who are sick, showing any symptoms, or have been in direct contact with someone infected are asked to refrain from participating at in person meetings or plantings. In some cases, a video conference may be available.
We encourage proper distancing protocols to be put in place (6 feet between people) and discourage handshaking, high fives, and other closer interactions.
When Trees Forever tree plantings resume:
Shared equipment provided by Trees Forever, such as shovels, wheelbarrows and other tools, will be sanitized before and after use. Sanitation wipes will be available to use again if the tool needs to be used by multiple people. We encourage participants to bring their own tools when possible to reduce the amount of tools passed from one person to another.
Hand sanitizer will be available at all events.
Events and plantings with schools and school-aged children will be evaluated and will follow local school district guidelines.
For our community volunteer groups, we recommend:
Encourage anyone who has been sick in the past 2 weeks, showing any symptoms, or have been in direct contact with someone infected to refrain from participating in person.
Planting within social distancing circles (those who are isolated together, such as families, partners, roommates, etc.)
Consider holding the planting event over a multi-day timeline, with people signing up for staggered shifts and specific tree locations to ensure planting groups are not arriving at the same time and distance requirements are maintained between groups.
Ask volunteers to bring their own tools (shovels, box cutter or saw to cut roots, garden fork to remove soil to find root flare). If volunteers do not have their own tools, provide pre-sanitized tools. Ask volunteers to wear gloves. Sanitize tools after use.
Discourage handshaking, high fives, and other closer interactions.
Disclaimer: Trees Forever works with lots of different partners and entities, and we provide these recommendations as best practices and hope this helps guide your tree planting projects. Ultimately, personal health decisions are up the individual, and we cannot be held responsible.