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Celebrating US Forests: Launch of National Campaign and Community Toolkit
Mar 1 2011
Washington, D.C. – The United States campaign for the International Year of Forests begins today. Earlier this month the US Forest Service announced its partnership with the National Association of State Foresters to create a national campaign with the tagline, “Celebrate Forests. Celebrate Life.” Today’s official launch includes a comprehensive website and community toolkit to support celebrations of forests across the country. A list of national events and resources to aid organizations and families nationwide in their celebrations of forests are available here.
The International Year of Forests was established by the United Nations to draw appreciation for the many ways trees and forests impact the quality of life worldwide. The US campaign focuses on the connection between health and our forests.
Resources for Celebrating IYOF in Your Community
The US Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters have jointly committed to supporting the national celebration of the International Year of Forests. The campaign will come to life at the local level by engaging communities and families with forests. Throughout the year communities and organizations through the US will organize and participate in events that celebrate forests.
The campaign website provides informative and actionable resources and is an accessible platform for educators, parents and communities to plan their participation in IYOF and to share their experiences afterwards.
The website offers tools and event materials such as:
- Facts and information about the pivotal role trees and forests play in keeping our air and water clean, our economy vibrant and our communities healthy.
- Ideas about how to join the celebration.
- Resources to involve your local elected officials.
- Talking points, media fact sheets and step-by-step guides for hosting an event.
- Downloadable marketing materials such as posters, banners and t-shirt templates.
- A calendar available for uploading event information and finding events in your community.
- Photos and information documenting the IYOF celebration nationwide.
Experiencing forests with family, friends and the community can be as simple as organizing a nature walk, finding a local campsite or learning about the animals and plants that live in the forests. CelebrateForests.com enables citizens to execute the objectives of IYOF by bringing the campaign to life locally.
IYOF across the country, a nationwide event on May 21st
The IYOF campaign will also lead and conduct events nationally, including a Capitol Hill hearing and signature event, National Walk in the Woods Day, on May 21, 2011. National Walk in the Woods Day is an opportunity to show appreciation for and understanding of the beauty and impact of the forests within our borders.
Given that roughly 1/3 of the total land area, approximately 751 million acres, of the United States is forested, there will be ample opportunities to participate in the celebration on May 21st. The National Association of State Foresters will host events across the US for individuals and families to show their support of the global declaration: trees are imperative to our well being on many levels.
National Walk in the Woods Day will raise awareness and understanding of the ways trees and forests benefit our air, water, climate, society and economy.
About the International Year of Forests
This international yearlong celebration will focus on the people’s actions to sustainably manage the world’s trees and forests. Through a resolution passed on December 20, 2006, the United Nations outlined its objectives for the Year which include: to reverse the loss of forest cover, enhance economic, social and environmental benefits, increase the area of sustainably managed forests and to mobilize increased financial resources.
Within the United States, including its eight territories and the District of Columbia, the campaign will be celebrated on the national, regional, local and personal levels. Using the tagline, “Celebrate Forests. Celebrate Life.” the campaign speaks to the importance of trees and forests to people and the connection between U.S. forests and a healthy environment, lifestyle and economy. The connection will be communicated through four major themes: clean air and water, ecosystem health, economic health and community and personal health.
Specific goals of the national program include: raise awareness of sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests; elevate the conversation around sustainable forestry; encourage the adoption of the idea that there is a significant value, benefit and importance of sustainable forestry in the U.S.; and establish a new policy regarding forestry in America.