$50,000 Sempra Gift for San Bernardino Wildfire Restoration
Feb. 24 check presentation at Coldwater Canyon Park, L.A. for 2010 spring planting season
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – On February 24, Sempra Energy Corp. announced a $50,000 gift to support TreePeople’s Forest Aid partnership to restore the fire-damaged San Bernardino National Forest. Sempra’s donation will help restore land damaged by the massive wildfires in 2003 and 2007 that tore through the San Bernardino Mountains, razing 185,000 acres of forestland. These devastating fires were driven by forest densification, drought and bark beetle infestation.
Sempra’s donation supports TreePeople’s Forest Aid partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and San Bernardino National Forest Association to restore the San Bernardino Mountains. In 2009, 20,050 tree seedlings were planted in the San Bernardino Forest by 2,547 Forest Aid volunteers. According to the U.S. Forest Service, this was one of the largest ever volunteer-led restoration efforts in Southern California.
The Sempra Energy Foundation’s grant program was created in 2009 to provide resources to support exemplary programs in environmental restoration and conservation. Last year’s grant cycle received hundreds of applications from Southern California based, non-profit, environmental organizations. TreePeople was selected because of its proven track record in results-oriented conservation programs. The Sempra Energy Foundation’s $50,000 award is one of the largest environmental grants to support fire restoration efforts in the Inland Empire. “We look forward to supporting TreePeople and their collaborators by helping them expand their mission to restore much needed forest land that truly adds to our local quality of life and environment,” said Frank Urtasun, executive director of the Sempra Energy Foundation.
According to the U.S. Forest Service (Forest Service Assessment 2008), 1.5 million new trees need to be planted on 60,000 acres of the San Bernardino Mountains, especially in high need areas. This reforestation is important to water quality in the region and to mitigate erosion and landslides that could impair mountain access.
“We are delighted to have Sempra’s support. This generous gift will enable thousands more people from all over Southern California to participate in restoring our local forests, which are our region’s critical air and watersheds,” said TreePeople Founder and President Andy Lipkis.
Forest Aid’s mission is to replant and revitalize the mountains of Southern California. The partnership is based on a simple belief: That a single person planting a single tree can help revitalize fire-damaged areas, affect climate change, clean the air, capture rainwater and build a sense of community. Forest Aid is funded by generous grants from The Walt Disney Company and The Boeing Company. Learn more at www.forestaid.net.
TreePeople is an environmental nonprofit that unites the power of trees, people and technology to grow a sustainable future for Los Angeles. More information at www.treepeople.org.