Plant Trees, Plant Hope!

The Tom Spencer Million Trees for Austin Fund was established by TreeFolks to honor Tom Spencer and his bold vision of planting another million trees in our community. Tom has inspired us to pursue this goal, and we invite others to join the campaign and, in Tom’s own words, “Plant trees, plant hope.”

Why Trees?:

Tom enumerated the impact that trees can have as he refined the Million Trees vision. Trees clean our air, produce oxygen, and sequester carbon while their fallen leaves replenish our soils. Trees produce food for humans and provide shelter and nourishment for wildlife. Trees can mitigate floods, prevent erosion, and clean pollutants from waterways. Trees shade our neighborhoods, generating incredible energy savings while making our city and parks more habitable and our homes more comfortable. Just as important as all of these tangible and quantifiable benefits, trees beautify our cities and parks, enrich our lives, and brighten our passage through the years. When all of these benefits are tallied, it is apparent that planting trees, especially now, is a win-win-win situation.

About Tom:

Many in the Austin area know Tom Spencer as a tireless and effective leader in the nonprofit sector and a recognizable spokesperson for our environment, including native plants and trees. As Executive Director of TreeFolks, Tom championed our mission to build stronger communities by planting and caring for trees. Although only employed at the organization for a short time before suffering a debilitating stroke, he had a profound impact on our lives and our work. These millions of trees will stand as part of Tom’s legacy, to be celebrated now and by generations to come.  Click here to read more about Tom’s impact in Austin.

Use of Funds:

Contributions received as part of the Tom Spencer Fund will cover operating costs of TreeFolks that are directly related to the attainment of the Million Tree goal. Our programs, including urban forest expansion, large-scale reforestation projects, and educational initiatives are united under the Million Trees effort.

This is a collaborative, regional effort that will…

  • Rally our many businesses, government, nonprofit, and individual partners around a shared goal in Central Texas — planting a million trees or more, for our planet and for our communities.
  • Advance the nation’s first large-scale pilot project using local tree planting to generate carbon off-set credits.
  • Enhance Austin’s urban tree canopy through the aggressive expansion of TreeFolks’ on-going tree planting and tree adoption y programs.
  • Support an extensive tree planting and tree care public information campaign directed at select audiences and the general public.
  • Enable large-scale planting efforts that will restore native woodlands along highly degraded streams that flow through the Blackland Prairies and are tributaries of the Colorado River in Eastern Travis County and Bastrop County.
  • Build additional organizational capacity for TreeFolks and our partners by providing the infrastructure and equipment needed to accomplish this goal.
  • Establish the groundwork for multi-year funding to expand this million-tree effort by initiating new partnerships with public entities to utilize reforestation as a nature-based solution to flooding.

Make a contribution below.

The Tom Spencer Million Trees for Austin Fund is managed through the Austin Community Foundation. Clicking the donation link will direct you to the fund portal on the ACF website.