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Voluntourism Spotlight: Planting Trees with Hike for KaTREEna

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Picture 033This week’s voluntourism spotlight lets you do your part  to fix one of the long-standing impacts of Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane did away with 100,000 trees but with Hike KaTreena you can help regreen the city. Find out more in this weekend’s broadcast of Peter Greenberg Worldwide and check back every Wednesday for more voluntourism opportunities.

After 100,000 trees were destroyed in New Orleans, resident Monique Pilié decided to hike the 2,175 mile Appalachian Trail with the intention of raising funds in order to plant one new tree for each mile hiked.  Since then she has continued her mission to raise awareness of the massive loss of trees, and with the help of countless volunteers her organization Hike KaTREEna has gone on to plant more than 19,000 trees in the city.

For the past five years the organization has been working with the local government and other local groups as well as anyone willing donate, either financially or physically, to restore the green to the city which has recently been declared number one in the country in lost trees by the U.S. Forest Service.  More than 60,000 volunteers have participated in the reforesting efforts.

Hike for KaTREEna is currently working towards the goal of completing 47 initiatives, including planting their 20,000 tree, before Super Bowl XLVII.   The planting season runs from October to May.

To volunteer to be a planter all you have to do is fill out a simple form on their website, which provides Hike for KaTREEna with your contact information, your preferred neighborhood to plant, as well as your preferred planting dates.  Volunteers under 18 must have a release form signed by their legal guardian.

If you would like to help out but are unable to get involved physically, you can always make a financial donation on their website.  Donations run from $25 for a small ornamental tree to $2000 for an 80 tree forest; all donations are tax deductible.

By Steven Knight for