Following the success of the inaugural Saluting Branches, the event is expanding to more locations across the United States. This year the Saluting Branches: Arborists United for Veteran Remembrance national day of service is on September 21, 2016. The event will be held at 36 cemetery sites in 27 different states. This is an increase of 25% over last year in the number of veteran cemeteries that will receive free tree pruning, removals, and tree healthcare services from volunteer professionals. The majority of this growth occurred from the arborist community stepping up and wanting to take on a Saluting Branches event at a site near and meaningful to them.
The first Saluting Branches event was held in 2015, and by all accounts, the event was a success. Arborists and tree care professionals across the country joined together to honor our veterans, bringing together over 1,100 volunteers from 226 different companies to provide an estimated $1 million in donated services by pruning, removing, inventorying, and planting trees. The impact to our nation’s veteran cemeteries will have a profound and lasting effect. According to the Department of Veteran Affairs National Cemetery Administration, the contribution from arborists was one of the largest charitable donations the organization had ever received.
Saluting Branches was conceived by Twin Cities-based Rainbow Treecare as a way for arborists to come together and give back to our veteran community. The idea took over three years of planning, organizing, and partnering with the Department of Veteran Affairs National Cemetery Administration to make it a reality. The vision is to grow Saluting Branches into a self-sustaining charity that is owned and embraced by the green industry. In 2016, Saluting Branches became a 501C(3) non-profit organization, allowing tax-deductible donations from sponsors.
Learn more about site locations, volunteer positions, and sponsorship opportunities at www.SalutingBranches.org