The Florida State Parks Foundation’s Plant a Pine program has generated more than $350,000 for longleaf pine plantings in Florida State Parks since its inception in 2020, Foundation board president Kathleen Brennan announced today to commemorate Earth Day 2024.

The Foundation originally launched the Plant a Pine program in response to Hurricane Michael, which destroyed 500 million trees across the Florida Panhandle in 2018. Every dollar contributed to Plant a Pine corresponds to one native longleaf pine seedling planted in a state park. Tree plantings have occurred in more than a dozen state parks.

“Plant a Pine is one of the simplest and most effective ways to support our state parks,” Brennan said. “Not only are longleaf pines beautiful, but they also provide crucial habitat for some of our state’s most precious wildlife.”

A variety of community partners and private donors have generously contributed to Plant a Pine’s success.

The Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund has granted $150,000 to Plant a Pine since 2020, largely through the generosity of customers at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s who round up their purchases at the register and online. This total includes a $50,000 grant during the most recent campaign. Plant a Pine has also received $40,000 from Steve Kowkabany and more than $160,000 in grassroots contributions.

The Foundation accepts Plant a Pine donations on its official website. Donations may be designated in honor of family, friends, loved ones, pets, community groups and more.

The Foundation this year also embarked on an innovative partnership with Bob Ross Inc. to expand their Happy Little Trees 5K program to Florida. Inspired by legendary painter Bob Ross, the Happy Little Trees 5K is a virtual event that takes place between Earth Day and Arbor Day each year. Through this partnership, the Plant a Pine program received $10 from every race registration in Florida – for a total of more than $6,000 in 2023-24.

The Foundation intends to continue and expand the program in 2024-25.

“Longleaf pine restoration comes with so many immeasurable benefits, and we are grateful to have partners like the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund and Bob Ross Inc., who believe so passionately in this worthwhile pursuit,” Brennan said. “Plant a Pine has done some amazing things in our state parks, and we look forward to its continued success in the future.”

About the Author: Foundation Staff