“I thought to myself, “Something needed to change… and soon!”
As I talked with friends and colleagues later, we came to the conclusion that someone needed to replant all those trees, and work to keep others from being lost.
And that someone had to start with us!
Shannon Ramsay, Trees Forever Founder
People often ask me why I started Trees Forever back in 1989. I’m a very visual person by nature and have always loved driving through the Midwest countryside and enjoying the beautiful scenery. I was driving to a meeting once on a very windy winter day. The ditches were piled high with snow, and I began to notice all the black soil that had collected on top of snowbanks. As I drove along, the wind blew cornstalks and dried-out weeds across the road in front of me—along with our beautiful black topsoil!
As I continued to drive, I also noticed some of the magnificent windbreaks that were protecting many of the farmsteads—and the fields full of precious topsoil—from the blowing winds. Many landowners had obviously cared for and added to their windbreaks over the years, keeping them healthy and well maintained. Others had removed them completely or had let nature take its course, with only a few scraggly trees remaining. Along streams and rivers, trees and shrubby vegetation were often missing.
I wondered how our water quality would suffer, thinking of what could be done to help. I thought to myself, “Something needed to change… and soon!” As I talked with friends and colleagues later, we came to the conclusion that someone needed to replant all those trees, and work to keep others from being lost. And that someone had to start with us! That is, basically, how and why Trees Forever came to be—a grassroots group of citizen volunteers determined to make a difference in our neighborhoods, communities and state. And it’s why we continue to do the important work we do today; to make sure our world is a greener, healthier, more vibrant place for our children and grandchildren!
For decades, Trees Forever has helped thousands of community volunteers, civic leaders, government officials and landowners just like you, each and every year. We’ve helped you and others plant and care for more trees, shrubs, and native grasses and plants. And we continually promote the value and importance of our natural areas, so that they are protected and can continue to grow and thrive for future generations to enjoy.