I serve as president and CEO of Earth Day Network, and as you might guess from the name of our organization, a healthy Earth is the place we LUV the most. That’s why we work with select corporate sponsors like Southwest Airlines to provide civic engagement opportunities at the local, state, national, and global levels. One of the core principles shared by Southwest and EDN is a heartfelt commitment to bettering the communities we serve.
For example, our Canopy Project aims to protect natural lands and preserve the environment for all people. But rather than focusing on large-scale forestry, we plant trees that enable the world’s communities to sustain themselves. Over the past three years, The Canopy Project has planted more than 1.8 million trees in 22 countries. Southwest and EDN have Canopy Project–driven efforts planned in Denver, Dallas, and San Diego that will help bring local partners and stakeholders together.
Our tree-planting event in Denver will assist with the restoration of the area’s deteriorating urban tree canopy and improve the city’s green infrastructure. Trees reverse the impact of land degradation and can provide food, energy, and income, helping communities achieve longterm economic and environmental sustainability. Southwest Employees will also pitch in with EDN and local groups to bring environmental renewal to a low-income Denver neighborhood.
Dallas students will have a chance to learn a valuable lesson in conservation at a tree-planting event scheduled for the fall. Participants will hear a reading of the Shel Silverstein classic The Giving Tree before experiencing firsthand the importance of good citizenship and environmental preservation.
San Diego will also get to spread the LUV this spring when Southwest and EDN join with local partners to plant up to 50 trees to help restore the 52-mile San Diego River system. These trees are crucial for preventing erosion along the river, which is vital for supporting the city’s wildlife population.
Since 2011, Southwest and EDN have partnered to provide the resources needed to turn ideas into action and positively impact communities—those across the globe as well as those found in our own backyards. Together, we are working to make environmental education and a green economy a reality everywhere.
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY EARTH DAY NETWORK AND TREEPEOPLE