UPM Blandin foresters, Boy Scouts and 4H club members celebrate UPM Global Plant a Tree initiative with tree planting at Forest History Center
(Grand Rapids, MN, May 22, 2014) – UPM Blandin foresters, Boy Scouts and 4H Club members planted tree seedlings at the Forest History Center (FHC) on Thursday, May 22, celebrating UPM’s global Plant-a-Tree initiative. Plantings of the 5,000 red pine, white pine, balsam fir and white spruce donated by UPM Blandin were scheduled throughout the week with the Minnesota Women’s Woodland Network, the Grand Rapids State Bank and ending with the Forest History Center Open House planting on Saturday, May 24.
“We have maintained a unique partnership with the Forest History Center for many years, working together to provide a quality learning environment,” said Adam Sutherland, UPM Blandin, Wood Procurement Forester. “This planting will be a gift for many years to come and a permanent, natural reminder at the FHC signifying the importance of biodiversity at Blandin and UPM operations around the world.” UPM Blandin plants about 650,000 trees each year, in addition to the natural regrowth that occurs after harvesting.
The trees were planted in an area that suffered from heavy blow down in the summer of 2012. In 2013, UPM Blandin foresters coordinated a harvest and clean-up of the area and developed a plan to plant trees appropriate for this site.
“Were it not for Blandin, the FHC would probably have never been established 35 years ago. The company has been a terrific supporter of our facility during our entire history in myriad ways,” said Jeff Johns, FHC Site Manager. “In July 2012 our woodlands, like so many others in Northern Minnesota, were hit by devastating winds that damaged or destroyed hundreds of valuable trees. In the summer of 2013, Adam Sutherland notified us UPM Blandin could get a contractor in to harvest the damaged trees plus other over mature aspen to chip for biomass. Now we could launch a reforestation project according to our recently updated Woodlands Stewardship Plan. Again, UPM Blandin stepped up to the plate donating more than 5,000 seedlings for the reforestation project and offered volunteer employees for a community planting endeavor. To me this is an amazing story of Blandin's ongoing commitment to education, community, and sustaining forests in Minnesota,” Johns concluded.
UPM organizes a global Plant a Tree Day each year in spring and especially on May 22nd, the UN International Day for Biodiversity. This year school children and other stakeholders in Finland, the UK, Russia, China, the US and Uruguay participated in Plant a Tree events. Every year UPM plants more than 50 million tree seedlings. The long time span of sustainable forestry materializes in tree planting. Forest regeneration is a central element of responsible forest management.