Tree-Plenish is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization striving to build sustainable communities by leveraging the power of youth. Tree-Plenish started in Mansfield, Massachusetts when two high school seniors, Sethu Odayappan and Lizzy Elsner, decided to take action to help replace the paper that their school had used during their senior year. It was here that the first Tree-Plenish event was hosted, and the seed was planted for this organization’s growth. Over the past two years, our team grew from two people to 30 and turned a small-town project into a national one.
The Tree-Plenish team is working with 453 schools this academic year and are on track to plant over 97,000 trees across the country. We are working with schools across 41 states are are only continuing to grow.
Tree-Plenish works with high school students to host tree-planting events in their communities to offset their school’s paper usage during the last academic year. Students, guided by Tree-Plenish mentors, follow a 3-step process.
1) Planning - During this phase of the process, students figure out how much paper their school used during the last academic year. They then take that number and convert it into the number of trees they will need to plant. We estimate planting one tree will offset 10,000 sheets of paper.
2) Marketing - During the next phase, students reach out to the residents of their community and ask them to request a tree to be planted in their yard or to volunteer to help plant trees on the day of the actual event, or both!
3) Hosting - The final phase is for students to host their actual event. On this day, teams of volunteers plant trees in the yards of residents around their town.
“My goal for Tree-Plenish is not only to plant tens of thousands of trees each year, but also to empower students to create change in their communities. Tree-Plenish is so much more than planting a tree. It’s about bringing communities together and making them more sustainable and giving youth a platform to use their talents to make a difference.” - Lizzy Elsner, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director
"The trees that we plant are going to have a much bigger impact than just the days that we planted them." - Talia Newman, a Hatboro-Horsham senior who is involved with the Tree-Plenish planting event.