Making a Difference
trees planted to date
tree projects to date
volunteer hours last year
The Trees Among UsOur community trees and forests play a critical role in keeping us healthy and making our neighborhoods better places to live and work. Forest ReLeaf of Missouri has been working hard for over 20 years, growing and planting native trees and shrubs throughout Missouri and surrounding regions. Find out more by checking out our informational videos! Find out more by checking out our informational videos!
Trees Make the Best NeighborsOur new infographic, The Value of Trees, shows the myriad ways urban trees help make our communities safer, healthier and more livable. Additional information can be found in our Trees Matter section.
“I like the people I work with, it’s like a little mini-family here.” “You see such a turnaround from spring to fall and you see what you do is making a difference. It’s very rewarding.”
“It basically boils down to I feel good about giving back to the community.” “I’m also pleased that I’m not only able to do something for the environment, but I’m able to learn a lot.”
“I have never ceased to be impressed with the efficiency of this organization to plant trees, with so little impact on the taxpayer.” “With just a few paid employees and a record number of trees donated to nonprofit organizations, I believe Forest ReLeaf gives the American public a good bang for their buck!” “We come back year after year because we are appreciated, useful and know the good we are doing for the community.”
“When we get the trees from Forest Releaf it’s a big deal for the kids.” “The act of planting a tree really becomes a powerful tool to awaken their spirit in terms of what’s around them … and that’s what’s most exciting.” “The amazing part is the impact stays with them. These kids come back to see their tree after they’ve graduated and they bring their own children with them to show them what they’ve done.” “Without Forest ReLeaf we wouldn’t have the forest we have. We simply can’t afford to buy trees.” “Forest ReLeaf has allowed us to create a generational building. The students return with their own children and then that next generation begins to understand and appreciate trees and the natural environment. That’s a powerful tool.”
“The kids now take care of [the trees], they see them, they know they planted them and it’s a sense of community. But it also builds some pride in what they’re doing and they have some ownership in what’s going on in their community
It is difficult to single out just one volunteer each year to spotlight; this year the honor falls on Lee Phillion! As her career in corporate communications was drawing to a close, Lee – a volunteer since 2013 – began looking for opportunities to learn about nature, volunteer in nature, and meet new people who care about the natural world. As both a Missouri Master Naturalist and a Missouri Master Gardener, she has ample opportunity to accomplish her goals.
“Most likely it was a potting day that got me started volunteering at Forest ReLeaf,” said Lee. “I took the TreeKeepers class early on, and that really piqued my interest. What a great class. But what keeps me coming back ever week,” said Lee, “is how much volunteers are valued and respected, the variety of tasks available to us, the mission we are pursuing as a team… and the ‘team’ itself. I’m now friends with a whole group of smart, fun loving, talented people who share my interest in trees. And we are led by the best management team I have ever encountered.”
Her favorite nursery activity? “Weeding. I find pulling purslane particularly pleasurable,” said Lee. When not pulling purslane, pruning pines or potting pecans, Lee periodically produces photo presentations about progress at the nursery.
In her spare time, this mother of three, grandmother of two and wife of one likes to break out her guitar, harmonica or banjo, and as she says, “…make music nobody hears but me.” “My band, The Geritones-a folk, bluegrass, gospel group-broke up last year when our lead guitar player moved to Arizona,” said Lee. “Wish I could say it was creative differences, but it was just old age. Somebody would say, ‘pick up the tempo’ and we’d laugh.”