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Lexington-based nonprofit has ambitious tree-planting goals, in Kentucky and around the world

The nonprofit that donated 10,000 tree seedlings for Saturday's Reforest the Bluegrass in Lexington plans to plant a million trees from Tennessee to Pennsylvania this year and donate 30 million for a worldwide tree planting campaign by 2031.
John McGary
/
WEKU
The nonprofit that donated 10,000 tree seedlings for Saturday's Reforest the Bluegrass in Lexington plans to plant a million trees from Tennessee to Pennsylvania this year and donate 30 million for a worldwide tree planting campaign by 2031.

The nonprofit that donated 10-thousand tree seedlings for Saturday’s 25th annual Reforest the Bluegrass in Lexington has even larger targets. Chris Barton is president of Green Forests Work, which began planting trees on the sites of former coal mines in 2009. He said at first, they didn’t have a lot of success, but research helped solve the problem. This year, they’ve got an ambitious goal.

“So we kind of started off small with a few volunteers, and this year we'll be planting a million trees. We started planting in February, will finish in May and we're planting from Tennessee all the way up to Pennsylvania.”

Barton said Green Forests Work is also part of a partial solution to a worldwide problem – the 1-T.org campaign, which has a goal of planting a trillion trees by 2031.

“We think based upon some of the reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that by planting a trillion trees, we can actually limit the increase of global warming on the planet.”

Barton said Green Forests Works has pledged 30 million trees for the worldwide effort. He said trees take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it, in the tree itself or the soil.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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