Chapter 5: Taking It to the Streets The Million Tree Story
Taking It to the Streets The Million Tree Story
Hire a contractor, and you have a measurable goal. But how do you measure the success of a campaign that inspires ordinary individuals to pick up a shovel? And, moreover, how do you make such a campaign succeed? In Los Angeles, TreePeople has always tried to be the bridge that keeps communication open between the professionals and the public. In the three years leading to the 1984 Olympics, using resources that are not hidden but are often overlooked, TreePeople successfully motivated the public to report the planting of over one million trees. In the media capital of the world, when the greenhouse effect still referred to an early crop of tomatoes, TreePeople made tree planting trendy.
This chapter describes lessons learned during the Million Tree Campaign. Our challenge was to inform, enroll, guide, and inspire the public on an ongoing basis—without a public-relations or advertising budget. The less money you have, the more creatively you'll be able to seek out and use free or low-cost resources and techniques. Take these thoughts, adapt them, and apply them in your own community to win the attention of the media, the imagination of your politicians, the dollars of your sponsors, and the hearts of your community.
With the growing awareness that trees are part of the solution to the greenhouse effect, most people will continue to envision acres on acres of forest trees as the sole answer, rather than considering the more specific and effective plantings that can occur in cities. Without a visible, educated constituency in support of urban trees, tree-maintenance budgets, as opposed to quick-fix planting dollars, will take a back seat to what are believed to be more vital issues.
Even though many politicians seem to have been sold on the value of a healthy urban forest, it's probably a much more expensive ticket item than they can anticipate. Hence the reason for marketing urban forestry: to build active support to put public trees on the public agenda.
The steps outlined are written from a private, nonprofit perspective. Most tactics would also be relevant for government agencies, so if you have a good relationship with your city government, you may suggest some of this in your role of advocate for the department in charge of urban trees. A committee of such advocates can provide flexibility to operate outside government constraints when needed and can serve as a place for business and community leaders to contribute their skills and resources. Although the tactics outlined made up a three-year intensive effort, many of them are appropriate for independent use in smaller campaigns.
Public-education campaigns are similar to planting campaigns. Before you can be organized, you must do your homework. If well planned and guided, such a campaign can provide as much exposure as a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign and can result in far greater public involvement.
First identify the major issues you need to highlight: tackling the greenhouse effect through energy conservation; protecting the environment from the hazards of the depleted ozone layer through shade production; increasing property value; helping the city celebrate its bicentennial; enhancing air quality; feeding the hungry; or galvanizing youth, mitigating the trash crisis, and so on. Make this specific for your city rather than simply copying what worked somewhere else. TreePeople used the approaching Olympics as the reason to galvanize the public, then focused on a number of problems we thought urban forestry could help solve. Others may choose a certain percentage of tree cover, or a certain number of people involved, as a goal.
Know what you want the community to do. Do you just want to engender political support and awareness, or do you want people out planting and caring for trees?
Identify and enroll community leaders who can help you, including those from neighborhood organizations, the business community, churches, and unions, and invite celebrities and the news media to publicize your effort. Consider organizing an informal group of people who want to help accomplish your goal.
|Be courageous. People may think you're foolish, but they'll admire and may even support your courage with time, money, talent, resources, or pure sweat.|
Seek out campaign resources. Look for people and companies who can donate all or most of the materials and services you'll need. However, be careful not to take on any volunteers without first checking the quality of their work! Seek out advertising agencies, public-relations firms, printers, artists, designers or art directors, writers, photographers, a local newspaper, a radio or television station, or concerned newswriters or reporters. TreePeople targeted an international advertising agency, Doyle Dane Bernbach, and persuaded the president to donate some agency time and talent to help produce the Million Tree Campaign.
Also identify possible corporate sponsors. Use your creativity to bring together people with common interests, such as a company that uses a tree as its logo or suppliers known for their philanthropy.
Set the campaign time period. Keep the community posted on your progress, and build in a completion and wrap-up phase. Create several stages so that you can celebrate accomplishments along the way. Each completion gives you the opportunity for a media event.
On July 1, 1981, TreePeople launched a campaign to inspire the planting of one million trees in Southern California before the 1984 Summer Olympics. The campaign was a response to a request from the mayor. The Los Angeles City Planning Department had just released a report that had studied the effect on air pollution of massive tree planting in other cities. It claimed that one million trees, when mature in twenty years, would be capable of filtering up to 200 tons of particulate smog from the air every day. The report concluded that it would take twenty years and 200 million taxpayer dollars to plant the trees on streets and another 200 million dollars to maintain them. The city turned to TreePeople, the organization it had seen mobilize thousands of individuals to provide volunteer disaster relief during recent floods. The pollution problem was a disaster of sorts too. Its organizational ego inflated from its recent success, TreePeople took on the task.
The figure one million had a good solid ring to it—one that we felt could inspire great volunteer efforts within the community. So, with no prior money allocated, TreePeople's purportedly impossible three-year goal fired the public's imagination.
With an overall game plan but no set rules, TreePeople used the following methods to keep the goal (and the dream) alive in a city of 10 million people and 100 million causes. Note the failures. We learned as much from them as we did from the successes, and thus we'll highlight them as pitfalls that should be approached with caution.
A Pro Bono Advertising Campaign
Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB) assigned a team to the TreePeople account. We used them while they were fresh and inspired. The creative team needed to be briefed on the goals, values, and principles of the urban forest and our campaign, which was obviously vastly different from its usual accounts.
For instance, as the material illustrates, TreePeople was not to be seen as the hero of this campaign. We knew we couldn't do it alone and, in fact, if we had to, we would have failed in our mission to inspire public participation. The advertising agency had a hard time accepting that a client would not want name recognition. We understood the concern, but we were conscious of the natural tendency of people to relegate the handling of problems to others. In this case, TreePeople would handle the trees. Did our strategy work? We don't know. Would more people have participated if our name were up front? As it is, many people who don't know TreePeople's name still remember the campaign to plant a million trees in Los Angeles. "Oh! That was you guys?" they say. In a way, by our own standard, that means we were successful.
DDB devised a fully integrated advertising strategy, along with the theme materials and artwork. The tag line was "Turn Over a New Leaf, L.A.—Help Plant the Urban Forest," with one poster line the team couldn't resist—Urban Releaf! (They could not have known the impact the pun would have on the nation's community forestry movement six years later!)
The agency wrote a television script and gave us the job of enrolling the talent. Persistence paid off. After dozens of attempts to enroll celebrities with persuasive letters and repeated phoning, Gregory Peck returned our call and became our spokesperson.
General Telephone (GTE) was asked to provide a video production crew, and a daylong shoot was produced for the cost of sixteen hamburgers. The thirty-second spot got its fair share of air play, because it was a high-quality piece featuring a high-quality household name who was actually committed to the cause; Peck joined our board of directors.
|Public-service time on radio is the easiest form of free advertising and the easiest to produce. Most radio stations will accept either a written script or a thirty- or sixty-second tape. They usually require two weeks to get them on the air and will play them for at least a month.
Unless you can continue to furnish the radio stations with new taped scripts, which is a very expensive option, you'll get only about a month's mileage out of each. Far more effective is to mail sets of "live" ten-, thirty-, and sixty-second scripts every month, enclosing a grateful cover letter. These are read by announcers and, when written well and typed clearly, are preferred by the stations to prerecorded tapes. Try to have a professional advertising writer work on these.
Newspapers and magazines will, on rare occasions, run a public-service advertisement. It's much more difficult for them and is very expensive. But with persistence and footwork, one usually can persuade an advertising editor to insert an ad at some time. It's extremely difficult, however, to control when, where, and how big the ad will run. Another option is to enroll a department store that can donate space for your message in its own ads, run a promotion with you that it can advertise, or even pay the costs for running your ad in exchange for an acknowledgment.
DDB wrote and produced a great radio commercial using Lohmann and Barkley, a local radio comedy team often used for paid commercials. Tapes were delivered to over seventy-five radio stations. Unfortunately, many of the stations refused to run the spots, because they regarded Lohmann and Barkley as competition for their own comic acts.
TreePeople mailed live announcer scripts. The message was the same each month, but clever copywriting made it fresh and different every time.
DDB also created artwork for a print ad, but we were unsuccessful in getting space donated. This is much easier if you're in a small town. The Los Angeles Times has too many paying customers and so doesn't have much surplus space available. Nevertheless, print ads were run by companies who sponsored other parts of our campaign mentioned below: General Telephone, May Company, Louisiana-Pacific, and Nurseryland. These ads promoted the campaign but also highlighted company efforts.
|Most billboard companies provide small spaces to community causes as a public service, but they usually charge to post each board. Some companies even charge monthly.|
At great expense near the beginning of the campaign, we produced and printed 5,000 copies of a fantastic book—a forerunner to this one—called A Planters' Guide to the Urban Forest. A member of the book's advisory team who was also the horticulture editor of the Los Angeles Times got inspired and sold the Times on the project. They dedicated an entire issue of their Sunday Home Magazine to the thirty-nine best trees for Los Angeles and delivered it to one and a half million homes without costing us a cent! We enhanced its impact with a telephone referral service that directed callers to nurseries specializing in their favorite trees.
Some billboard companies have a great distaste for trees, because they block their boards. Without realizing this, we stumbled into a hornet's nest when we began asking for support. We discovered later that one company had just been prosecuted for a midnight massacre of a dozen trees. Even though our campaign focused on people planting in their own yards, most firms remained cold. Despite the negativity, we found a company that loved the idea and posted 800 boards at no charge. We did have to pay twenty-five dollars for each of the 400 bus signs posted.
DDB produced artwork for the billboards and bus signs, but we were unsuccessful in getting the printing donated. However, we found a printer who let us pay him when we could. Ironically, the final installment was mailed two years later—the month the campaign ended.
|You'll always need materials to present the overview of your program to the general public, and it makes sense to have it coordinated with the rest of your campaign.|
DDB designed a brochure that was written by TreePeople and printed by Southern California Edison. "Help Plant an Idea" explained the campaign and how people could participate. We stapled packets of seeds to the front of each brochure, which was labor intensive but eye-catching.
DDB also designed a bumper sticker—"I brake for trees"—that was light-hearted and took advantage of "I brake for animals," one of the bumper stickers popular at the time. Although we paid for the printing of the stickers, we also sold a lot, which underwrote their cost and raised a bit of extra small change.
|Don't assume anything! Entities that look like natural partners to you often have other forces pulling on them, or just a completely different perspective on your campaign. Do as much footwork as you can before you spend too much money or time trying to involve a reluctant sponsor. There's more than one way to skin a cat.|
Point of purchase material (POP)
The sign printing and the nursery kits mentioned below were the only print items paid for during the campaign, and they were not necessarily more vital than the free materials to the campaign's success. Our lesson to keep the campaign economical came back to us in spades as we struggled to pay the bill! One tactic— necessary but very time-consuming and often disheartening—was to involve the nursery trade. At a cost of forty dollars apiece, we produced with DDB a packet of materials to be given to 1,000 nurseries in Southern California. The nursery kit contained tree tags, banners that read "Urban Forest Headquarters" and matched the billboards, confirmation forms, and a display mailbox to be periodically emptied by either the nursery personnel or TreePeople volunteers.
Our hope was that each nursery, seeing the value of our campaign for its business, would make a tax-deductible donation to cover the cost. For the most part, we were mistaken.
We were puzzled by the general lack of interest on the part of the nursery industry. Only one major chain, Nurseryland, ran ads announcing their involvement. Because the state association would not endorse a campaign that didn't involve the entire state, we made separate presentations to each regional association in Southern California. One unresponsive group left us feeling particularly disillusioned. Cleaning up after our talk, we found dozens of our brochures left on the seats—but with the little seed packets removed.
Don't go to the trouble of running a campaign unless you make sureeveryone hears about it!
Volunteers serviced the nursery mailboxes and hung tree tags.
When we finally realized we were going to be stuck with almost 1,000 kits that would simply get dusty in our storeroom and not do their job, we came down off our nonprofit pedestal and decided to cut our losses and give the kits away. The sales force of Kellogg Supply, a fertilizer company, volunteered to help distribute kits and collect confirmation cards as they made their biweekly visits to customers. Many nurseries displayed the material and thousands of confirmation forms were mailed to us from eager customers who didn't want to use, or couldn't find, the nursery mailbox.
Another major wholesale grower was unsuccessful in mobilizing enough nurseries to participate in a cooperative ad campaign. Despite their lack of interest, several nurseries acknowledged that they benefited financially from our campaign.
The day after TreePeople committed itself to the Million Tree Campaign, a nursery that was going out of business called, wanting to donate 100,000 seedlings. We called the National Guard and they agreed to deliver the trees in eight forty-foot trucks that stretched a mile along the freeway. What a visual: the army and the environmentalists! We had the mayor unload the first seedling to a kid. A human conveyor belt delivered the trees from the trucks to our own nursery. We got plenty of coverage.
TreePeople has built a reputation for being media aware. This description is sometimes leveled as a criticism; however, we take it as a compliment. We've never had a public-relations budget nor a staff person devoted to that function. In every case, and sometimes in spite of our efforts, the national media attention we've received has been unsolicited—out of the blue. Our best coverage has always been the result of a story we didn't initiate.
|Make sure your events are interesting! Take the time to design an event with good visual interest. The only way to compete with TV violence is to give the media something more colorful or interesting. Charts, graphs, and celebrities planting trees are all better than a person in a suit behind a lectern.
Use institutions that already exist, such as Arbor Day, Earth Day, or a local equivalent, around which to build an event. Editors are always looking for stories relevant to time, season, or occasion. They also like stories related to other major headlines.
For instance, if there's a major global warming conference scheduled in your town, you might create an event that highlights how your program is helping to cut energy costs locally, thereby reducing carbon dioxide output. Since trees can be part of the solution to many urban problems, many opportunities are available. Another example would be to utilize gang members in a constructive project. That kind of story will always get coverage.
Keep it fresh! Find a new twist every time you stage an event, or the media will become very tired very fast. Serve the media. Coffee and (donated) muffins are good for a start! Then add press releases and a couple of high-contrast black-and-white photos, in case the newspaper reporters don't bring along a photographer. Be thoughtful when setting times for your events. The best time is weekdays at 10 a.m. This will usually give you a fresh crew with time to shoot and edit your story before their schedule gets too hectic.
Why is this? We believe it has something to do with the points above, plus our genuine respect for most of the media folk we've worked with. They deserve it: they're a priceless resource. Don't overuse them or try to trick them.
TreePeople actually turned down an offered donation of two pickup trucks because after months of negotiation and no commitment, the offer finally came through the evening before one of our big scheduled press conferences. Naturally, the corporation wanted to be there to announce the sponsorship. Our press releases had gone out three days prior with not a peep about this. We valued our reputation for being straight shooters with the media and weren't prepared to annoy them with a surprise change of script on the day of the press conferences.
Tree People enrolled a local TV station, KABC, and a newsman, to produce a five-night miniseries on various aspects of the campaign. KABC took up the cause. They provided regular updates and a treemometer to measure progress. In fact, it was their innocent request for our phone number to flash on the screen that finally sent our tree count through the roof. Believe it or not, in the land of the telephone, we'd been asking for planting confirmations in writing—on a postcard or even a scrap of paper. The immediacy and obviousness of a tree hotline and answering machines to take the calls twenty-four hours a day had passed us by.
TreePeople presented KABC with a special award at the end of the campaign and made sure the viewers were acknowledged for the major role they played. Everybody deserves to feel worthy, appreciated, and part of the key to success.
|TV news editors are always looking for stories that they can use on holiday weekends, but avoid weekend media events. Most stations have few or no camera crews on weekends, and crimes and disasters are their priority.
Never think of your public-education work as PR. The media don't like giving free advertising, and you're not advertising: you're inspiring and educating the public about something of vital importance to the environment everyone lives in. That's not a commercial item.
Make yourself fully available. It may not look like progress at the time, but when you plant hundreds of seeds, some are sure to grow.
Brief yourself on the group you're addressing. Find out what they've done in the past and what they're capable of doing for your campaign. Don't ram information down their throats at the beginning of your presentation, but be sure to give plenty of options at the end; and if you get a check as well, so much the better. (See page 39.)
Campaigns like this are enough to give you early ulcers. Your tree count will drive you crazy. When your real job is to encourage high-quality planting and tree care, why do you spend most of the time drumming up enthusiasm and bean counting? The age of the sound bite will turn your highest intentions for communicating care and thoroughness into a one-liner, and that one-liner will be your number goal. Think very carefully before you give yourself this rod for your back.
TreePeople is still apprehensive about a repeat of a campaign for Los Angeles that hangs success on a number. One essential problem with such a campaign is that you will be hailed if you hit the jackpot, and you'll receive sympathy cards if you don't. So you'll go crazy getting to that number. You'll want to cheat. You'll beg people to let you count their trees. They'll ask you if you want to count their rose bushes and vines too. You'll want to fudge your timeline. You'll have long philosophical discussions with your colleagues about whether trees that would have been planted anyway should count and what the geographic boundaries should be. And what you're doing it all for anyway. Everyone will get sick or depressed or leave straight after the campaign—win or lose. You probably think we're kidding.
The Interview and Speaking Circuit
TreePeople recruited and trained staff and volunteers for a speakers bureau. We appeared on TV and radio interview programs at a moment's notice—at 6 a.m. or 12 midnight. Every opportunity to talk was taken. Every rotary club, garden club, or gathering of two or more got a speaker and a slide show.
The Religious Community
TreePeople involved churches and synagogues in some aspects of the campaign. A presentation to the Inter-Religious Council of Southern California inspired leaders of many religions to get involved at some level. A few congregations organized seedling distributions based around an urban-forest sermon, but this didn't result in widespread participation.
|Trees are a positive issue and are an important symbol in the ideology of many of the world's religions. Don't expect interest to spread from the top down. Time and again, we were shown that the most powerful direction is from the bottom up! A committed member of a congregation is definitely your best shot.
Many large corporations have in-house printing and video and audio facilities. Having them contribute those resources is usually easier than getting direct funding and is often much more valuable. The important thing is to allow a lot of time. Your project must fit into the corporation's profit-making schedule, which sometimes can take months.
The Corporate Community
Companies can be very helpful. Their executives can provide leadership to both your organization and the community, and their involvement can lend credibility to your cause. Companies can contribute resources, finances, and volunteers. And reaching people where they work is often an overlooked route.
The TV spot we shot with GTE's crew would have cost at least $25,000 (in 1983 dollars) if we'd had to pay for professional services; instead it cost us nothing. Southern California Edison contributed thousands of dollars in printing services over the years. Also, having a volunteer art director employed at a design firm meant help from suppliers, who usually are happy to oblige their client.
Large corporations are also a resource for volunteers. Corporate community responsibility is a big issue these days, and concern for the environment makes it a double whammy in your favor. Big concerns often have volunteer coordinators on staff whose job it is to recruit both executives and rank-and-file workers for service projects. The most forward-thinking companies are even providing paid release time from daily duties for some volunteers. Also, some companies will contribute funds to organizations where their employees volunteer.
Early in the campaign, General Telephone's vice-president for public affairs joined our board of directors. We began working on a plan that developed into a major two-year commitment from GTE. They invited their people to become Urban Forest Rangers, who would visit local elementary schools with environmental information, stories, seeds, soil mini-greenhouse kits, and follow-up curriculum packets for the teachers. Almost 700 people volunteered, and GTE underwrote the entire $40,000 cost of the program. The staff and resource time contributed was valued at another $100,000!
|Use fun runs for publicity rather than to raise money. You'll avoid disappointment!
Think of easy (for you) and cheap (for them) ways to involve corporations, like our tree-dedication program. For ten dollars each, they can have trees planted in the mountains in honor of customers or employees or just to boost their public image. They're not all going to be $10,000 sponsors, but you can still do great business together.
But be careful. We've been caught many times putting days and months into ideas that never happened. Time is often a necessary investment to realize your dreams. The time wasted can be minimized if you inform a company at the outset that your resources are limited and that, without anything solid, your time is limited too. If they're not happy with that, it's better to end the association right then, as they'll never be able to understand the difference between nonprofit and profit-making concerns, and more heartbreak will follow with both partners feeling cheated. Be careful not to let their involvement divert you from your mission. Simply try to make your agenda their agenda and then let their involvement work for you. Stay open and make the negotiation fun.
GTE's involvement paid off in riches beyond their dreams. Almost 70,000 kids participated, and all their parents found out about it. The positive publicity generated was greater than anything they could have bought, and their vice-president was featured in an article in Fortune magazine. Of course, GTE's participation was also a great boost for TreePeople.
Although it didn't come to fruition until after the campaign, TreePeople's friendly, cooperative approach to corporate involvement paid off again when the Southern California Honda Dealers Association committed major dollars and full-page advertisements to a campaign to "Help Make Your Drive More Beautiful" by sponsoring the planting of 1,000 trees a month for three months.
Another example is the Urban Forest Run. Four years in a row, TreePeople closed down a freeway and staged a ten-kilometer run sponsored by May Co., Louisiana-Pacific, The Gap, and Warner Bros., respectively. We had to work hard to get these corporate sponsors but once on board they paid for the T-shirts and other promotional materials distributed. The idea was to demonstrate that freeways could be made human-scale, even if only for half a day. Even with this project, TreePeople managed to make its statement about the power of the individual. The organization had a fairly low profile at the time and, though the run didn't make money, a front-page photo in the Los Angeles Times showing thousands of running bodies did wonders for our name recognition.
TreePeople's latest and greatest corporate sponsor is GEO. With the GEO Metro rated the most fuel-efficient car on the road today, we were happy to open discussions that led to our biggest-ever corporate contribution—and to receiving six vehicles to replace old jalopies. The GEO executives and their PR firm were long-sighted, allowing us to use their contribution to hire more staff at a time when it was really needed in exchange for a long-term contract and the promise of 35,000 trees in the ground. As we've come to know and trust each other, TreePeople has been able to express its vision to a receptive and educated ear. Our GEO partners can now take our agenda and match it to their goals, rather than vice versa, which is the most common frustration in these circumstances. Both parties can feel good about the relationship when the dog is wagging the tail. In our case, that means solid, well-executed programs coming before funding, rather than funding dictating how we spend our time.
Be guided by your intuition. A partnership isn't necessarily right just because it sounds logical. With luck, this time around, the environmental movement is here to stay for a bit. Your work, your integrity, and your image are more important than any corporate partnership, no matter how attractive it can be made to look. Believe it or not, the money from a corporation isn't always worth the cost to your organization. You can fall from grace very quickly and you or your organization can be smeared for life. Beware the corporation that appears to want to give you a blank check. What do they really want from you?
|Take some photos of the site before preparation. This step will make a good set of before-and-after pictures to document your work and show it off!
How many subgroups are in your community? Use their internal structure to get your message across. Catch people where they work, where they shop, where they play, and where they live.
Schools, Scouts, and Walking the Streets
TreePeople used its established school program to spread the word. Many schools took on plantings, and a three-year total of 45,000 children planted a tree at home. TreePeople currently reaches over 100,000 kids a year in the classrooms and assembly halls of Los Angeles' schools and on the nature trails of our park headquarters. On safe plantings—those not involving freeways or large street trees—we used scouts and other youth groups who like to get involved in fresh, new group activities.
Free trees often are thrown away, because they have no intrinsic value to the recipient. TreePeople distributed seedlings for one dollar each at fairs and shopping malls and even went door to door offering to plant seedlings in homeowner's gardens—just to spread the word. This action was a wonderful but desperate measure and was very labor intensive. It was dropped after a couple of months.
|We encourage you to set up your program in such a way that you have room to experiment and take risks. It's the creativity that catches attention and inspires others. Don't be discouraged by failure. Look at what worked and also at what didn't. Learn your lessons and move on, trying other variations until you succeed.|
Even in the 1990s, there's no certain method for achieving your public-awareness goal. We're all still pioneers in this field. Aside from being creative, one must be persistent. Finding a new way involves the risk of failure as well as the chance of success.
During the Million Tree Campaign, we often felt like rats in a maze, following every possible path. Some succeeded; others were bitter failures. Nevertheless, we'd set our deadline and had no time or money for lengthy and costly research, even though it may have been valuable and economic in the long run. If an idea didn't work within a few months, we'd drop it and move on, with no regrets, fresh for the next idea. We kept thinking one thing was going to do it. That wasn't true. It was an accumulation of many things—most strongly, dogged persistence.
We're still learning from our oversights back then. For instance, how many of the million trees are alive today? We don't know because we didn't build in an assessment factor. Because we emphasized trees planted on private property, we assume a high survival rate. On reflection, we might have done even more to educate people about the need not only to plant but also to commit to long-term care. As this book demonstrates, we're obsessed with stressing maintenance these days.
This lesson is just the beginning. Use it to inspire ever greater and more successful public-education efforts. This chapter was originally a paper delivered at the Third National Urban Forestry Conference in Orlando, Florida, in 1986. It was reproduced and has been sent to community groups around the world. Many have reported the fantastic, original ideas they've been able to put into action from our experience. A lot have reported that the willingness to fail has served them unbelievably well.
By the way, the campaign was a success. It certainly didn't turn out according to plan, but we accomplished the stated goal. The people of Southern California—individuals, families, churches, service organizations, cities, the U.S. Forest Service, County Foresters, scouts, and corporations—reached the goal, and those working closely with us celebrated that accomplishment. After three years, four days before the lighting of the Olympic flame, we received word that an apricot tree had been planted in Canoga Park. It was the confirmation of the planting of the millionth tree.
Copyright 1990 by TreePeople with Andy and Katie Lipkis
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, except as may be expressly permitted by the 1976 Copyright Act or in writing by the publisher.