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.

TREES & BICYCLES

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

- Chinese Proverb
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"When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but
the ride you are taking."

- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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.
The bicycle is one of humankind's greatest inventions. Riding one not only leads to increased health, physical fitness, and mental well-being but also benefits the local community. Most importantly, it's just plain fun!

The presence of bicycles on the street does not produce extra noise, traffic, or pollution, but rather lowers stress, reduces congestion, and decreases our effect on the environment. Cycling is an efficient method of transportation that allows people to interact with their surrounding environment.

Our open group rides grant us the ability to connect to local cyclists and help advocate for cycling within their community. A low-impact aerobic exercise, cycling is accessible to people of all ages.

The worldwide cycling community is growing. Certainly, there are far more people who ride bicycles than plant trees on a regular basis. Our organization recognizes that cyclists are inherently predisposed to the concept of our mission. They enjoy riding bicycles through forests and down avenues, not around parking lots. Cyclists understand the importance of trees within the landscape and are physically capable of helping us replant them in communities rebuilding in the wake of disaster.

The demographics that make up the cycling community are diverse. Members of this community are always interested in meeting others who ride, and of attributing meaning to riding their bike beyond the pure enjoyment of doing so. There is no other subculture more suited to becoming RETREETers.