Dear District Leaders,  

Earth Day, April 22, 2018, is fast approaching, which is also the “soft” closing date for President Ian Riseley’s Environmental Sustainability 1.2 Million Tree Challenge: “Plant a tree for every Rotarian”.  Many Districts and their clubs have already engaged. Congratulations if your District’s clubs have already completed the Challenge. If not, there’s still time!

To date, over 3,370 Tree Planting projects have been uploaded on the Rotary Project Showcase. You can review these projects for inspiration and ideas by logging into and using this link to search for the keyword "tree".  (Hint:  the search only works automatically when you are logged in!) 

On the main Rotary Project Showcase page, you may also select the keyword: “Category” and check off the new phrase, “Environment.” Tree Planting is an environmental project that counts towards the requirements to earn 2017-18’s Presidential Citation, when you have reported it.  However, many Tree Planting projects have not yet been tagged in that category.

ESRAG, the Environmental Sustainability Rotarian Action Group, at President Riseley’s suggestion, also affords the opportunity to report your District’s and its clubs’ tree planting activities. Please report your tree counting at This will allow ESRAG to begin to measure, track and share your environmental sustainability efforts throughout Rotary. For ESRAG’s purposes, we are giving credit toward the challenge for projects that are planned and funded by April 22, 2018, even though the trees might not have been planted by that date. 

A District or club tree planting event is a great opportunity for “getting your hands dirty” service, hosting a multigenerational event for family members, engaging members of Interact and Rotaract, and raising Rotary’s visibility in your community. And as President Ian noted, it’s a great way to reaffirm that: “Environmental Sustainability  . . .  is, and must be, everyone’s concern!”

If it’s too late for your clubs to organize their own planting projects, they can also still meet the challenge by funding ongoing tree planting in other districts, and with Rotary partners. ESRAG maintains a list of them.  If your District is engaged with an ongoing project that needs resources, we’d like know about that, too. To share that information, or request specific information that will help your District be part of meeting President Ian’s 1.2 Million Tree Challenge, contact ESRAG at

Thanks for all you do!   

Peter L. Moralée, PDG