Trees for You and Me (TFYM) is an American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) Program that endows a Grant for reforestation efforts. This program was initiated by zoo keepers to raise money to combat climate change! It was started as a tree planting initiative in 2009 in partnership with Polar Bears International (PBI). It has since evolved into a campaign that supports the Trees for You and Me Grant. The winning applicant is actively mitigating climate change through education and reforestation efforts.
In 2017, the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) and its chapters raised $18,364.45 for the TFYM Grant! Many projects have been funded by the TFYM Grant, such as restoration of critical Sandhill Crane habitat in Florida by planting Longleaf and Turkey Oak trees. This grant has also been able to fund a drop off bin for can recycling to support Cans for Corridors a recycling and forest restoration campaign where money from recycling aluminum cans is used to plant tree corridors in Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest. In 2018, we hope to raise even more!
HOW DO TFYM AND PBI FIT TOGETHER?
Polar bears are in trouble because the increasing amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is causing the Earth’s temperature to rise at an alarming rate. Melting sea ice from these warming conditions is a direct threat to polar bears that depend upon the ice to hunt, breed, and den. Reducing the build-up of carbon in the atmosphere is necessary to reverse climate change. Less carbon in the atmosphere means better conditions to retain arctic sea ice and improve polar bear habitat and survival. Trees act as “carbon sinks” that absorb CO2 from the air. They store this carbon in roots, trunks, stems, and leaves while they grow and in wood products after they’re harvested. Conservation actions that reduce the production of greenhouse gases are the most impactful efforts to save polar bears. Planting trees is one of the few tools that we have to sequester carbon. Saving tropical rainforests is even more impactful for sequestering CO2.
As an individual or group, you can make difference: Don’t buy products with palm oil Purchase shade-grown coffee Eat less meat or purchase local meat rather than meat produced in deforested tropical rain forests Please visit https://www.aazk.org/committee/trees-for-you-and-me/ to learn more about the grant and how zoo keepers are helping save polar bears while fighting climate change.
And DONATE TODAY!