This Earth Month, Help Us Plant Trees Along an Iconic Great Lake Shoreline

This Earth Month, Help Us Plant Trees Along an Iconic Great Lake Shoreline

Forests provide habitat for nearly 70% of mammal species and 75% of bird species. They also improve water quality by capturing and storing rainfall, which helps reduce runoff into neighboring waterbodies. Their carbon-storing capabilities make them key in combatting climate change, as well. Unfortunately, our forests are also at risk, with more than 27,000 square miles lost each year. This is largely due to land being converted to other purposes, but trees are also being lost to land degradation, diseases, invasive pests, and climate change impacts like more frequent forest fires. With your support, we’ve teamed up with a variety of partners to tackle tree loss so communities can take advantage of forest benefits, and one of these partnerships has involved enhancing forests around a Great Lake.

Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) allows concerned residents to ensure their forests are healthy through its Future Forest Fund. As part of this program, Minnesotans and corporations can donate funds to plant more trees in their state forests, which helps bolster those already funded by the state legislature. With your support, we've long been contributors to this fund, helping plant thousands of white pine, white spruce, and red oak trees to help strengthen the forests along Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota.


In 2022, our work with the DNR and this program led to the planting of 5,000 red oak trees, 9,280 white pines, and 5,720 white spruce seedlings across 25 acres in a portion of land along the North Shore of Lake Superior called Sugarloaf. This was part of a broader 116-acre planting site of mixed hardwood and softwood boreal forest species. The goal in this area is to establish climate-adapted tree species, increase deer habitat, and maintain water quality in neighboring streams.


In a 2022 grant report, the DNR explained, “The plan on this site is to increase naturally regenerating boreal forest species, such as paper birch and white spruce, increase the white and red pine component historically found here, and introduce a climate-adapted species, northern red oak. The diversity within this site will help create a healthy forest far into the future.”


In 2023, we contributed further to these efforts, funding the planting of an additional 16,500 white pine and 3,890 northern red oak trees along four sites totaling 31.5 acres in the North Shore area. This helped add even more climate-adapted and habitat focused trees.

With our continued partnership, the hope is to keep funding similar projects in the years to come. This will help the Future Forest Fund’s goal of focusing on land where the need is greatest, so forests can continue to positively impact Minnesota’s ecosystems, clean air and water, provide food and habitat for wildlife, provide essential wood products, and allow residents beautiful green spaces to recharge.

After plantings, foresters continue to monitor and protect trees to ensure they thrive, and they work to ensure the trees are used wisely.

Duluth view of Lake Superior's North Shore LAKE SUPERIOR'S NORTH SHORE. PHOTO: PIXABAY / LKAIHOI

These projects wouldn't have been possible without your support!

Mike Reinikainen, silviculturist from the DNR’s Division of Forestry, says, “Ongoing partnerships like the one between Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Future Forest Fund and GreaterGood allow us to do more reforestation work across Minnesota. In particular, this partnership is helping us improve wildlife habitat, increase tree diversity, and plant species that are projected to be better adapted to a changing climate in northeastern Minnesota.”

If you’d like to mark Arbor Day and Earth Month by further contributing to these efforts, click below!

Michelle Milliken

Michelle has a journalism degree and has spent more than seven years working in broadcast news. She's also been known to write some silly stuff for humor websites. When she's not writing, she's probably getting lost in nature, with a fully-stocked backpack, of course.

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