PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 100 cyclists trekked 585 miles during the seven-day journey of the 2012 STIHL Tour des Trees, raising more than $520,000 to benefit the Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund). The Tour, sponsored by STIHL Inc., has raised more than $5.5 million since its inception in 1992 and continues to increase public awareness for the research necessary to keep our trees and forests thriving, including research quantifying the benefits of trees to the economy and the environment, studying ways to control diseases and pests, and increasing the survivability of new tree selections.
The TREE Fund supports environmental sustainability by funding efforts for research and education in arboriculture and urban forestry. This includes scholarships for students in the field, arboriculture education, resources for workforce development, and funding grants for scientific research. The TREE Fund has supplied more than $6 million and more than 400 research grants in the past 36 years.
This year's STIHL Tour des Trees began on August 5 and traversed Oregon, ultimately finishing in the heart of Portland on August 11 with a Ride for Research, a recreational 25-mile in which local cyclists and tree advocates joined the Tour for the day.
During the Tour, children's educational programs and tree plantings were led by Toronto arborist and veteran Tour rider Warren Hoselton. These programs were conducted for young audiences to learn about the importance of trees and to contribute to the growing list of trees planted by participants each year. More than 20 trees symbolizing the importance of healthy trees and tree research have been planted across Oregon as a legacy of the 2012 Tour.
"The commitment of our cyclists is astounding. They put their lives on hold for a week, and each raises a minimum of $3,500 for our research grants in the fields of arboriculture and urban forestry," said Mary DiCarlo, fund development specialist for the TREE Fund. "And participating in education events like tree plantings really creates an emotional bond that continues to bring cyclists back each year."
"The STIHL Tour des Trees is one of the most important events we support each year," said Anita Gambill of STIHL Inc., the Tour's title sponsor and a leading manufacturer of outdoor power equipment. "The Tour positively influences the future of our environment as well as the tree care community that we work so closely with at STIHL."
Since the first Tour in 1992, the event has inspired more than 1,000 cyclists to participate and collectively generate more than $5.5 million for tree research and programs to educate the community. The STIHL Tour des Trees is a legacy that continues to grow and reach increasingly more supporters every year. Donations can still be made to the TREE Fund through the STIHL Tour des Trees website, www.stihltourdestrees.org, and photos from each of the events are available on the media page. B-roll from the event can be downloaded at: http://www.bluecouchmedia.com/stihl_tour_media_broll1_720p60.mp4
For more information visit stihltourdestrees.org.
Sponsors of the 2012 STIHL Tour des Trees include STIHL Inc.; Bartlett Tree Experts; reTREEt America; Asplundh Tree Experts; International Society of Arboriculture; KASK Helmets; Tree Care Industry Association; The Davey Tree Expert Company; Arizona Public Service; National Grid; Pacific Gas & Electric; PacifiCorp; Arborwell; Forestry Equipment of Virginia; Lewis Tree Service; NGK Spark Plugs; Trees, Inc.; Unitil; Utility Arborist Association; West Coast Arborists Inc.; Eco-Bond; Ford Motor Company; Pogo Organics; Tech Tree Experts Inc.; TREE Fund Board of Trustees; Vermeer; Washington Forestry Consultants, Inc. and Wright Tree Service, Inc.
About the TREE Fund:
The TREE Fund's mission is to support sustainable communities and environmental stewardship by funding research, scholarships and education programs essential to the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge in the fields of arboriculture and urban forestry.
The TREE Fund has supported research that has led to important developments in:
- Understanding air pollution reduction and carbon sequestration by trees
- Determining the costs and benefits of urban trees
- Improving conditions for tree growth in difficult sites
- Strategies to manage diseases and pests that affect urban trees
For more information, visit www.treefund.org.
About STIHL Inc.
STIHL Inc. manufactures the number one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America,* as well as the number one selling brand of chain saws in the world. STIHL products are sold through servicing power equipment retailers from coast to coast – not mass merchants. STIHL products sold through U.S. STIHL dealers are for distribution in the United States only. For more information or for the name of a local STIHL retailer, call toll free 1-800-GO STIHL (1-800-467-8445), visit stihlusa.com or text your zip code to 78445.
*"Number one selling brand" is based on syndicated Irwin Broh Research (commercial landscapers) as well as independent consumer research of 2009-2011 U.S. sales and market share data for the gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment category combined sales to consumers and commercial landscapers.
STIHL is pleased to support the work of Independent We Stand, the Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund), International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), National FFA, Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), and the National Association of State Park Directors.
SOURCE STIHL Tour des Trees