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Trees Matter Takes Fresh Approach to Conservation: Valley Permaculture Alliance to focus on increasing tree canopies across the Valley.

Nonprofit Valley Permaculture Alliance (VPA) has changed its name to Trees Matter and refocused its efforts to inspire and promote an increased tree canopy in the Valley. The Trees Matter Launch Party will be held at 6 p.m., October 5, at The McKinley Club, in downtown Phoenix. Executive Director Aimee Williamson states, “Throughout the last few years, VPA has been growing and successfully fulfilling its mission of inspiring sustainable urban living in the desert southwest. To that end, many of our community members became teachers and have their own successful programming. The topics of our former classes are now embraced by other organizations and businesses, and we are in the process of moving additional programs and resources to other well-matched organizations. For instance, the Forum is moving to the Maricopa County Food System Coalition, which can promote and manage the resource on a larger scale. Our seed library has moved to the Mollen Foundation, which is already teaching students about seed saving and has a demonstration garden where they can actively grow and test their seed inventory.”

Taking note from the first principle of permaculture: observe and interact, they are asking the questions of how to adapt, change and succeed for the future. “After reflection, it became clear that with the capacity and growth in our tree program, paired with the immediate need for an increased tree canopy in the Valley, we would become Trees Matter. We are excited to take on this new focus as we value the many benefits for trees or stacking functions such as shade, pollution and dust reduction, food, increased property value, carbon sequestration and an increase in mental and physical health. We see a need to provide resources to the public so they can properly choose trees, plant trees, care for trees and advocate for trees. We hope to encourage a culture of tree stewards,” says Williamson.

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