WHY

RETREET is a kaleidoscopic group of bicycle and tree enthusiasts with strong backs, sharp minds, and big hearts who volunteer to replant communities whose trees have been lost to natural disaster.

 
WHY

 
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.
The second best time is now."

- Chinese Proverb
Trees are essential to human life. Their environmental, psychological, social, and economic value to our communities is inestimable. When an urban forest is decimated by disaster, a professional, coordinated response is needed. That being said, planting trees is a practical, effective, and unique way for volunteers to help a community rebuild.

Trees provide us with oxygen, food, shelter, medicine, and tools. They also increase property values, promote health, conserve energy, mitigate storm damage, and save water.
Given these numerous benefits, it is unfortunate that mature trees take the longest to replace of everything lost when disaster strikes. Many survivors recognize the need to replace trees early into the rebuilding process and badly want for that to occur, but do not have time, resources, and expertise to attend to that need.

Studies have shown that a healthy urban forest greatly reduces anxiety among urban dwellers. Certainly, most disaster survivors experience elevated stress levels when faced with the destruction of their homes and the enormity of the rebuilding process. Through their presence and efforts, volunteers generate much-needed relief, cheer, and hope.

Replanting trees also helps prevent future disasters. Previously forested areas that have been burned become prone to flash floods. Coastal regions that have been hit by hurricanes become susceptible to erosion. Blanketing such communities with new trees provides a barricade from even more damage.

Tree planting is an enjoyable and physically engaging activity, and proper planting techniques are easily taught. That newfound knowledge will last a lifetime and will encourage volunteers to become greater stewards of the environment. On site, the impact each volunteer makes will last for generations to come.