Monarch butterflies follow a late fall migratory route from southern Canada all the way to Mexico. Stopover habitat is essential to these butterflies as they make this long journey southward. Common Milkweed, Bee Balm, and Black-Eyed Susan are among the plant species that provide food and respite to the Monarch as well as bees, insects, bats and other indigenous species of animals.
After a late start due to spring snow and with the help of a grant from the Matching Awards Program , the Superior Watershed Partnership engaged many volunteers in the improvement of Monarch habitat along two shorelines of the Great Lakes in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Various species of native plants were raised in the Hiawatha National Forest Greenhouse in Marquette, Michigan, and were then transported and planted by volunteers.
Restoration work occurred on the project sites prior to the native plants arrival. Non-native weed removal included Burdock, Spotted Knapweed, and Canada Thistle. Volunteers also collected native seed for continued future restoration efforts. In addition, Cedar Tree Institute donated 350 White Cedar and 100 other tree species to provide cover for wildlife.
Still looking for the perfect gift for a Friend of the Forest? Look no further than the partners of the National Forest Foundation. While we value all of our partners, this time of year, we appreciate those whose support is tied directly to customer purchases. So during this season of giving, share a memorable gift with your loved ones and give back to the forest!
Feetures – Have a runner or hiker in the family? The elite sock company donates a portion of all sales to the National Forest Foundation.
Sonadei – Perfect for the nature lover in your family, Sonadei’s designs feature a “Friend of the Forest” motif as well as t-shirts to support wildfire recovery. The Washington State-based t-shirt company donates a portion of all sales to the National Forest Foundation.
Allegory Pens – For the writer amongst your family and friends, be sure to check out Allegory Pens. Made from reclaimed, ancient and historical woods, the pens are custom crafted. For every few pens the Allegory sells, they support tree-planting on our National Forests.
Blooms Today – Ordering some holiday floral arrangements? When you check-out online, you can purchase a “tree of tribute” to support tree-planting on our National Forests.
Totally Bamboo – For your favorite culinary artist, Totally Bamboo’s “Tree of Life” cutting board, made from solid bamboo, supports tree-planting on our National Forests.
Plow & Hearth – Pick up this season’s hot item, solar Christmas ball lanterns, from Plow & Hearth and you’ll support their Campaign to Reforest America – a tree-planting partnership with the NFF.
Plan a trip – Visit one of the NFF’s Ski and Forest Stewardship Fund partners and donate an extra dollar during each night of your stay to support local forest restoration projects. See a list of partners here.
NFF – This year, our special holiday offer of a gift membership includes four additional NFF publications and ten trees planted in the recipient’s honor. They’ll also receive a 64-page guide to National Forests and the National Forest System Map. Give a gift membership today.
Don’t see the right gift idea, but still want to support one of our partners? Visit our Partners Page and learn about all the great companies that support our work. From Lands’ End to Chevy, there’s sure to be gift that will help our forests!
For many families, cutting down a Christmas tree from their backyard National Forest is a wonderful holiday tradition. Before you head out to the woods though, keep a few things in mind.
- $5 or $10 permits are required for each tree cut from a National Forest. Permits are available at your local Forest Service district ranger office.
- Check with your local Forest Service office to ensure your driving route is clear and passable.
- Be sure your vehicle has the means to access your cutting site: high clearance, four wheel drive, snow tires and chains.
- Attach the permit to the tree from the cutting site and do not remove until the tree is in your home.
- Select a tree that is less than 12 feet tall.
- Look for a tree in an overcrowded stand to help thin the area.
- When cutting your tree, leave less than a 5” inch stump. Do not cut the tops out of trees.
This piece was originally posted on The Trust for Public Land on November 29, 2013.
Around this time of year, we’re inevitably confronted by a barrage of holiday messages attempting to convince us to celebrate the season by purchasing this or that. Yet for all the attention we pay to what retailers want us to buy and put under the tree, we pay so little attention to the value of the tree itself—and to the importance of simply getting outside with our families and enjoying the gifts only nature can provide.
The average American child spends as few as 30 minutes a day playing outside and more than seven hours a day indoors staring at electronic screens . As a consequence, The Centers for Disease Control reports that national childhood obesity rates have more than doubled over the last two decades, while psychologists cite increasing rates of childhood depression, anxiety , and ADHD .
Author Richard Louv coined the term “nature-deficit disorder” to describe the effects of this troubling phenomenon. Adding to the problem is the fact that America loses some 6,000 acres of precious open space to ongoing development every day.
Nature-deficit disorder has become such a pervasive fact of life that the big box toy chain Toys ‘R’ Us recently ran a holiday commercial depicting a school bus full of disengaged schoolchildren heading to the woods on a field trip. The kids nearly fall asleep with boredom as they listen to a park ranger describe the nature they’ll see that day. But then the ranger unzips his jacket to reveal he’s actually a Toys ‘R’ Us employee, and the field trip is being rerouted to a Toys ‘R’ Us store. The bus erupts with joyful cheers, as the camera cuts to shots of kids rushing down aisles, arms full of toys, on a delirious shopping spree.
Toys ‘R’ Us had the wisdom to pull this commercial amid critical reactions from both consumers and environmental groups. For that, we applaud them. (Thank goodness for cultural arbiters like Facebook, Twitter, and The Colbert Report .) Nonetheless, the big box toy giant inadvertently provided us with a gift-wrapped teachable moment this holiday season.
The ad was misguided for a number of reasons. As every parent knows—sure, kids love toys. But kids also love nature. For children, having fun in the great outdoors is like falling off a log, so to speak. Parks and other natural places are some of the few spots left where kids can let their imaginations truly run wild.
Of course, Toys ‘R’ Us meant no harm. They were simply tone deaf to a growing and insidious issue that’s affecting young and old alike. Making nature the foil and throwing it under the bus seemed like a good gag for a holiday ad. Which begs the question: what exactly are we teaching our kids?
For 40 years, The Trust For Public Land has sought to address this troubling issue. We believe that everyone should be able to enjoy a personal connection to nature. That’s why we’re working with communities nationwide to create parks and protect the places that not only provide us with vital resources and endless inspiration—but sustain our very wellbeing as a species.
This holiday, I encourage you not only to give store-bought goods but to share meaningful experiences in nature—a hike in the woods or a walk in the park—with friends and family.
Wishing the happiest of holidays to you and yours,