"Heal Our Communities, Offer Remembrance and Celebrate Life."
On Saturday, January 8th, tragedy struck in Tucson. The lives of six members of our greater Arizona community came to an untimely end and 13 others were left injured. Around the state, and around the country, we were left wondering what we could do.
The FUSION Foundation has a long history of responding to community challenges -- from gang shootings, Hurricane Katrina and now a community looking for ways to heal. Though out that day and in the days that followed, so many reached out to ask "What can we do" - and, "How can we help."
As a direct response to the incidents of January 8, the Healing Trees Humanitarian Program: "Heal Our Communities, Offer Remembrance and Celebrate Life." was created. The FUSION Foundation, the Arizona Community Tree Council and Trees for Tucson | Tucson Clean and Beautiful are working together to heal our communities, offer remembrance, and celebrate life with the planting of Healing Trees across the state and across the country.
Healing Trees are a visual life-giving memorial commemorating the lives of those who died, honoring those who were injured and paying tribute to the outstanding actions of forgiveness, compassion, understanding, kindness and love we witnessed in the wake of the tragedy by so many in the Tucson community.
This is our time to do something significant to celebrate life and promote new growth- like planting trees. Through this a life-giving and earth-serving community act, together we can make a difference.
Planting a tree in memory of loved ones memorializes the person and restores the roots of our community. Doing so in public places together with our fellow citizens who mourn those who fell on January 8 can provide a living memorial. One that loved ones and community members can visit in years to come.
What can you do?
Let's Plant Trees Together!
Beginning on February 14th, Arizona Statehood Day, we will plant trees in Tucson and Phoenix and many additional locations throughout Arizona, the US and around the world. In the process we will be bringing communities together and demonstrating a shared desire to be to be instruments of peace, understanding and compassion in our communities. The planting of Healing Trees will continue throughout the year!
With the planting of each Healing Tree, we will state our intention to:
* Offer a remembrance to those who died in Tucson
* Honor those who were injured in Tucson and create a lasting symbol of new life in our community
* Create a unified moment for each of us to reflect on how we will choose to be instruments of peace, compassion and understanding with ourselves and with others
* Come back together again 11 months from this date to hold ourselves accountable and to reflect on how we acted as instruments of peace and how we will continue to do so
Recording the Tree Plantings
The GPS coordinates of each tree will be recorded and tracked on the Healing Trees website.
The website allows us to visit whenever we need a boost of inspiration and provide stories of what we and others are doing to create deep and lasting roots as well as share each Healing Tree’s story, its donors’ experience, intentions and ceremonies.
How To Participate
Healing Trees was born out of tragedy and our shared desire to respond with an act that would not only honor those who dies or were injured but also to provide a visual support to their families, neighbors, friends and strangers whose lives changed on that fateful day.
We come together in a common cause to proactively execute on our intentions and goals of creating a stronger community that is committed life, growth and collaboration. Together we will leave a loving sign of support for those who were lost and injured, including a friend to so many - Arizona Congresswoman "Gabby" Giffords."
Want to Help?
We have identified four specific ways for people and organizations to participate in The Healing Trees Humanitarian Program.
1) Support and/or partner with a local organization, school, or business and plant a tree(s).
Here are just a few of the organizations who are already on board:
* Gardens for Humanity in Sedona, Arizona will plant at least five fruit trees at Verde Valley elementary schools.
* The Cultural Arts Coalition will plant three trees
* The Farm as South Mountain will be planting in South Phoenix
2. Make a contribution to support specific tree plantings through the general fund.
Your financial contributions will support the purchase, planting, ongoing support and maintenance of trees in public spaces. Some of the specific plantings of Healing Trees include:
* The Arizona State Capitol where 19 trees -- representing the six who died and 13 who were injured on January 8, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona may be planted on the grounds of the Senate Building at the State Capitol
* The Shemmer Art Center
* Orangewood 1 & 2 educational facilities
* The City of Phoenix is proposing a tree planting outside of the Calvin Goode Building located at Cesar Chavez Plaza across from Phoenix City Hall
* World Care will plant a tree at its headquarters in Tucson, Arizona
Healing Trees will be planted in public places like schools, parks and public property where all have free access.
Many more opportunities are developing every day. As more information becomes available about the organizations participating we will list the details at HealingTrees.org
3. Volunteer your time and / or resources to support the Healing Tree Humanitarian Program
The Healing Trees Humanitarian Program is a collaboration lead by The FUSION Foundation and founding partner the Arizona Community Tree Council and is southern Arizona partner Tress for Tucson | Tucson Clean and Beautiful
Owners of wholesale nurseries, landscape companies, non-profits, volunteers, webmasters, graphic designers, public relations professionals have all stepped forward to lend a hand to make this humanitarian program possible.
What do we need?
* Trees - the trees are usually 15 gal trees - however some trees must be 24 inch box trees due to existing city or state regulations
* Equipment to dig holes
* Human Labor to dig holes and plant the trees
* Irrigation equipment for new plantings - most of the trees are strategically being planted in areas with existing irrigation and ongoing maintenance service plans however some trees such as the trees at the State Capitol will require additional irrigation equipment
* Organizations willing to sponsor Healing Tree plantings at schools, community centers, parks, and other spaces with public access
4) Help spread the word about Healing Trees Humanitarian Program
* Sign up for our emails at healingtrees.org and stay up-to-date on the latest information
* Friend us on facebook at healingtrees
* Friend us on Twitter at HealingTreesAZ
* Send this information out to your friends and encourage them to do the same!
Read about all the ways to participate on our new website at HealingTrees.org
Your contribution helps pay for individual trees, their plantings, and maintenance. Your investment provides for collecting stories, identifying ongoing planting activities and providing additional opportunities for your community's participation. The funds are being managed by the Arizona Community Tree Council, a 501(c)(3) organization with more than 20 years of experience dedicated to the care and planting of trees and promoting the education and exchange of information about trees and the essential role they play in the well being of all Arizona communities.