ECO-Tours only purchases trees and dirt to plant them in...

Saturday, December 7, 2013

End O' Year Fundraising 2013

This past year, 2012, our budget constraints were greater than ever before. The few tools that we sought funding for last Spring have had to be forgone for another growing season. Just a few hundred dollars would allow us to procure these items. Our work continues in spite of these constraints. We planted more seeds than ever and a few large trees were moved to their final destinations with the help of several great volunteers. Major changes have come to pass on our properties that both reduced the time we were able to spend seeking out new planting sites, but the streamlining and re-organization of the land we do have available for our use will allow us to grow more seedlings right here, saving us money, time and allowing us to get efficiencies of scale in our seedling production once again. Doing more with less seems to be our watchword the last few years, but this only means that we will be that much more efficient with the donations we receive in the future.

We have a veritable maple grove coming up that will need to be dug and potted in the Spring, but other than that we are down to a couple dozen potted trees for early spring planting. A long-term donor has found a home for them, but we were much too busy this fall to get them in the ground.

We have created a development plan that includes both a large scale reforestation effort in highlands near Lake Superior and a resort along the shore. Funds we raise now will help us continue to plant trees and leverage our good works into more exciting ventures in the future. The program for our school of sustainability is under development as well and when we open the facility it will be a living laboratory and example of how to operate sustainably. Our learning by doing model has served us well and a co-operative school that exists within a sustainable system is the best way to teach the elements and principles of deep ecology, green renewal and train the next generations of water bearers.

Several great friends and supporters of ECO-Tours have passed the veil this year and we are both missing them and memorializing their lives by recommitting to our mission. Some of the most important changes that we have seen locally have come out of expressions of their love, honor and respect for the future generations that will follow us. The trees we plant today have the power to outlive us and the relationships we forge with those who help accomplish our mission will, in turn, nurture other relationships that have the power to transform not only the landscape, but the lives of others, for generations. Although they may not walk the fields with us any more, their hearts and spirits are alive in the trees they planted, the memories they left us and the direction that their loving hands pointed us toward.

We ask those who have heard about our tree planting efforts to get on board, helping to fund it. If travel to Northeast Wisconsin is out of the question, contribute what you can to help us in our work. Donations are never squandered. Over 90 % of every dollar we receive is spent on trees, tree seedlings or tools needed to get them safely in the ground and through their first few years. Fields, forests and glens have been transformed through our efforts as well as the lives of those who have come on our plant-ins. One of the most hopeful acts we can participate in is the planting of a tree and in these times of rampant dislocation, instability and seemingly pathological destruction of nature, touching the Earth in this special way has amazing healing powers for not only the landscape, folks planting trees, our donors and the trees themselves, but for whole communities that depend on the structure, shade, water holding capacity and climate stabilization that trees provide.

If you would like to book an  ECO-Tour, or donate, please contact us. We accept checks at our home office as well if you are interested in sending money through snail mail. Post it to: ECO-Tours of Wisconsin Inc. 1445 Porlier street Green Bay, Wisconsin. You can also donate through Paypal by clicking the link at the top left of our header.

To get an idea of how far your donations go, the average cost of planting a tree and getting it safely through the first three years is over ten dollars. Creating a copse of transforming a small glen could cost several hundred dollars and to recreate a full acre (.4ha) (about 150 by 300 feet) (46X92m) costs about three thousand dollars. Similarly, a single shovel might cost 10-20 dollars, but a subsoiler might cost from 200-300 dollars. Removing invasive species as a first step toward replanting native trees could cost thousands. For donors with deeper pockets, our dream facility is coming in at about six million dollars and if you are interested in funding at that level, we would like to send an executive summary of our business plan.

Blessed Be! In the coming year, may you find all the joys to which you are entitled and may the remainder of this one be good to you as well. Thank-you in advance for your support! Tony C. Saladino-Director

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