ReLeaf Greenville Greenville, NC

What happens when an area has lost many of its original native trees? What’s the next step when community members want the trees back? If you’re lucky, you can work with a fantastic nonprofit like ReLeaf Greenville to fix the problem.

The mission of ReLeaf Greenville revolves around slowing down the disappearance of trees along streets.

ReLeaf Greenville collaborates with the:

• City of Greenville
• Department of Public Works
• Parks and Recreation Department
• Planning and Community Development Department
• Community Appearance Commission

The organization works with these departments to accomplish the mission of not only slowing down the disappearance of trees along streets but also:

• increasing the use of trees in parking areas
• increasing development landscaping
• educating our community about the value of trees.

Tree Planting

ReLeaf Greenville uses funds donated by the community to purchase trees from area nurseries. The city then prepares the site and plants the trees. There are occasionally events where community members can plant the trees themselves.

On March 16th, 2019, TreesUpstate held a ReLeaf Day where volunteers planted 150 trees at 7 sites around Greenville County. As a ReLeaf Day volunteer, participants joined in a family- friendly event that helped improve their community.

By providing community members with the opportunity to help the environment, both through planting and through donating, ReLeaf Greenville encourages local participation in civic environmental initiatives.

ReLeaf Greenvile has planted over 2,290 trees and contributed over $229,000 to the beautification and re-greening of Greenville.

ReLeaf works with the city to make sure that suitable trees are chosen for each given site.

Climate Change

Through it’s essential tree planting efforts, ReLeaf helps to reverse the effects of deforestation and global warming. This contributes to the overall battle against the increasingly dangerous effects of climate change.

According to Andrew Brown’s Quora post:

“Trees and plants absorb one of the key greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, and release oxygen in its place.

In past millennia, as plants and trees have died, a large proportion of them and of the CO2 that they hold have been buried and, by natural processes, been turned into coal and oil, trapping the carbon dioxide deep in the ground.

Then came the Industrial Revolution, which needed this coal and oil as a fuel source, and millennia’s worth of stored, excess CO2 was released into the atmosphere in little more than a century.

Man increased CO2 levels at the same time as he cut down forests to build cities and to cultivate farmland.

Without mankind’s excessive CO2 production, trees and plants were the key part of the carbon cycle, holding carbon levels to a safe, naturally-controlled level.

We should be doing all we can both to preserve the rainforests we have left and to extend tree-cover as much as we can.”

East Carolina University

On October 28th, 2020, ReLeaf collaborated with East Carolina University and hosted a tree planting event near Town Creek Culvert.

This event was part of an effort to bring trees back to urban areas in Greenville and to stabilize the ecosystem in which they are planted. The event also helped increase awareness of sustainability issues on the ECU campus.

Sustainability clubs at ECU believe in and are acting on the importance of tree planting. These organizations have advocated for increased tree planting to improve both the aesthetic appeal of the campus (and Greenville), and to help the environment.

The ECU Campus is home to a diverse collection of both native and non-native trees. The campus is proud of its Tree Trail, which follows along paved surfaces to offer a tour of arbor attraction.

The ECU Tree Trail features a total of 45 beautiful trees, including:

• American Holly
• White Oak
• Ancient Magnolia Giant
• White-Barked Crape Myrtle Cultivar
• Loblolly Pine
• Flowering Cherry
• Live Oak
• Washington Hawthorn
• Ginkgo
• Ohio Buckeye
• Sweet Bay
• Darlington Oak
• American Elm
• Bald Cypress
• Ancient Hackberry
• Overcup Oak
• Pin Oak
• Sugar Maple
• Longleaf Pine
• Upright Hornbeam
• Japanese Maple
• Eastern Red Bud
• Swamp White Oak
• Nuttall Oak
• Post Oak
• Pecan
• White Oak
• Southern Red Oak
• Valley Forge Cultivar
• Saucer Magnolia
• Deodar Cedar

Moore Parks Foundation

Moore Parks Foundation is a civic environmental organization based in Southern Pines, NC. It contributes to the important work of ReLeaf Greenville.

Without charitable contributions from civic environmental organizations like the Moore Parks Foundation, essential work like tree planting could not be accomplished.

Pleasure Island Revitalization

Pleasure Island is a costal barrier island in southeastern North Carolina, near Wilmington. It is 17 miles long and contains an unusual 11-acre fresh water lake.

Through vital organizational fundraising, ReLeaf Greenville is working to help restore important natural areas, like Pleasure Island, to their former green glory.

In Conclusion

ReLeaf Greenville does important work in many different areas. By providing opportunities for local individuals to work together to plant more trees, the organization helps increase a sense of community.

By providing educational resources, ReLeaf Greenville increases environmental literacy.

By planting trees, the organization directly improves both the state of the environment and the aesthetic appeal of the city.

By planting trees in neglected areas like Pleasure Island, ReLeaf Greenville breathes new life into an environment that needs help.

By offering opportunities for local colleges (like ECU) to become involved in green initiatives, the organization works to ensure that there will be a future for tree planting efforts.

There is no single way to measure the impact of an organization like ReLeaf Greenville. The best way? Appreciate the beauty of the trees they have planted.