Magazine article American Forests

American Forests and the Angel Network

Magazine article American Forests

American Forests and the Angel Network

Article excerpt

Of the many connections and partnerships that AMERICAN FORESTS has made over the years, one of the most famous and successful has been with Oprah Winfrey's humanitarian organization, the Angel Network. After Oprah mentioned AMERICAN FORESTS on her show in October of 2005, there was a surge in donations. Results have been the same with every mention since, leading to the eventual collaboration between AMERICAN FORESTS' Katrina ReLeaf Program and Oprah's Angel Network. The two organizations have taken up a series of projects together with the ultimate goal of improving life for people in areas of the country that were struck by Hurricane Katrina.

The Angel Network sponsors hundreds of projects, among which is a Hurricane Katrina Relief and Recovery program. This program, associated with Habitat for Humanity, builds houses for families whose homes were swept away by Hurricane Katrina, or damaged beyond repair. AMERICAN FORESTS has planted trees strategically around these homes to make them more economical for the families who will be returning to the still-recovering cities and towns. In addition, AMERICAN FORESTS has added trees to the streets and parks of these neighborhoods, in an attempt to restore the vital urban canopy that was decimated by the storms.

It is true that a few well-placed trees can actually reduce a home's air conditioning costs by up to 50 percent in the summer, and reduce heating costs in winter. The cooling benefits are especially important in the famously hot and humid south. One tree each, planted on the east, south, and west sides of a home, will keep the house shaded from the sun, making the air conditioner only partly necessary. The trees must be deciduous for this to work; that is, they must be trees that shed their leaves annually, but always have full leaves in the summer. This conservation technique does more than cut your air conditioning bill, it conserves the energy that the appliance would have used. This means that the power plant had to produce less energy as well, and therefore releases less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Overall, it makes life a bit greener, and a lot less expensive for those families who are trying to restart their lives in a town still struggling for stability.

The Angel Network/Katrina ReLeaf partnership has resulted in the completion of five projects so far, each in different parts of the hurricane-affected region. …

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