In the summer of 2021, Eugene will welcome tens of thousands of visitors for the IAAF World Track and Field Championships.
As a leader in hosting sustainable sporting events, the City of Eugene has initiated a unique project to help offset the carbon footprint of this huge event: 2,021 for 2021.
City of Eugene Parks and Open Space staff have committed to planting 2,021 giant sequoia trees by 2021.
Scott Altenhoff, Urban Forestry: "I realized that the carbon footprint of this event would be fairly significant, and we as a community have been working to draw down our carbon footprint and what better way to do that than to plant a bunch of trees? Also, it occurred to me that this would be a great way to engage the community, and bring people together, to focus on positive things, and to help our community look better too. When I bounced it off my coworkers and folks in the community there was so much enthusiasm I just realized we have to do this."
Michelle Parkins, Urban Forestry: "Today we got our little sequoias in. The seedlings came from the largest sequoias down in California, then they got they were taken to Michigan where the non profit over there decided to grow them out for us."
Don Smith, Archangel Ancient Tree Archive: "The idea was to find the largest, most successful trees in the country, actually the world, and clone those trees to save their genetics. We’re giving 2020 trees to the park department here and they’re going to plant these."
Scott: "Sequoias are in many ways an ideal urban tree, especially with regard to carbon sequestration. Environmental conditions are changing but the sequoias are really adapted to cold weather, heat stress, drought stress. They rarely if ever experience storm damage. They also seldom have health issues, pests, or pathogens. They’re just really stalwart trees in all regards."
Michelle: "To me I really appreciate the community outreach and the connection that we’re going to get. Not only are we leaving a legacy with trees but we’re developing more partnerships and continuing to build our partnerships with other areas. That partnership's going to last way beyond the 2021 games."
Scott: "We have made the giant sequoias available to folks throughout Lane County. We've given about 900+ trees away this year, found homes for those. About half of those we've planted ourselves, our agency, and half of those have gone to private property owners. We're definitely putting a lot of forethought, time, and energy into making sure that every one of our trees is going into the right spot. I've been so inspired by how many individuals and community groups have wanted to play a role."
Jim Neu, 350 Eugene: "We wanted to plant a dedication grove for a friend of ours who was a member of 350 who passed away last winter, and we wanted to do a memorial grove which we did over at Willakenzie Road. It was great fun and we are bettering the environment for it."
Emily Fox, Southeast Neighbors: "I’m very grateful that the city planted them. I can hear the traffic when the windows are open and I can see the lights from the cars at night. Well I hope that I won’t be seeing the lights, I hope that I won’t hear the sound of the traffic as much, and it’ll be a green screen which I think is really important."
Angela Jaquette, Silvan Ridge Winery: "I got a phone call from the City, they wanted to plant a little baby one in a container and of course a wine barrel in half makes a great container."
Mario Dericco, Public Works: "I got in touch with Angela, the general manager, and I just told her the story about 2021 and she went, 'We would love to donate a barrel for your project outside of the Tool Crib!'"
Angela: "We just kept the conversation going and ended up, 'What do you think about planting some trees out at the winery?' and I said, 'Yes, I don’t know where but yes!' They came out and we walked around and figured out that this spot is awesome and won’t interfere with the vineyard or our view and might actually in the future make a really neat hangout spot."
Scott: "This is as much a community engagement and public awareness campaign as it is a tree planting campaign. I think it’s essential to bring people together to get folks focused on a common goal and to show folks that we can actually make steps to bettering our world in a very simple way."
Learn more about this and other 2021 related activities at eug2021.org