Today is Arbor Day, the proto-Earth Day. Long taken as a tree-planting day (the National Arbor Day Foundation's slogan is "We inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees"), Enterprise Rent-a-Car is honoring the day by sponsoring a 50-million-tree challenge that aims to plant a million trees a year for the next 50 years in national forests in the United States, Canada, and Europe (compare to the much newer and smaller company Zap!'s million tree challenge by 2010). The National Arbor Day Foundation does the grunt work for the plantings and Enterprise foots the bills.

The 50-year time frame was selected to match the 50 years Enterprise has been in business. Details of where the first million trees have been planted and more are in the company's official statement after the jump.

[Source: Enterprise Rent-A-Car]

Historic Partnership Celebrates National Arbor Day

One million trees to be planted as part of Enterprise Rent-A-Car's 50 Million Tree Pledge; Effort honors company's 50th anniversary

ST. LOUIS, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of its first 50 years in business, Enterprise Rent-A-Car joined forces last fall in an historic partnership with the National Arbor Day Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service to plant 50 million trees over the next 50 years in national forests in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

The first million trees were planted in Alabama, Oregon, Michigan, Colorado, California, and Canada. Now this partnership is marking National Arbor Day by announcing the locations where the next million trees will be planted:
  • Custer National Forest (Montana and South Dakota)
  • Lassen National Forest (California)
  • Sequoia National Forest (California)
  • San Bernardino National Forest (California)
  • Wallowa-Whitman National Forest (Oregon and Idaho)
  • Kamloops Indian Band Reserve (British Columbia, Canada)
  • Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park (Scotland)
"As our company marked its 50th anniversary, this was our way of saying thanks for our first 50 years by making a really meaningful and significant commitment for the next 50," said Andy Taylor, chairman and CEO of Enterprise Rent-A-Car. "We're excited to roll out the second installment on that pledge as we observe National Arbor Day. We are in this for the long haul, in keeping with our responsibility to help preserve the environment around us for future generations. We know that planting a million trees a year isn't a complete solution, but it's a solid step in the right direction."

In this partnership, Enterprise is funding tree plantings in forests where the trees have been damaged by fire, disease, and other causes, as well as rebuilding and preserving habitats for endangered species. The U.S. locations are selected by The National Arbor Day Foundation, with the trees planted by the U.S. Forest Service. Tree Canada works with the National Arbor Day Foundation to facilitate all Canadian plantings. In addition, this year the first European plantings of the program will take place with the development of a woodland area in Scotland.

"With last year's record-breaking number of forest fires, the Arbor Day observance is especially relevant this year," said John Rosenow, Founder and President of The National Arbor Day Foundation. "Thanks to this long-term partnership with Enterprise, we are able to react quickly to national forests that are in dire need."

Most planting projects for 2007 address the need for post-fire reforestation following last year's record-setting forest fires that destroyed more than 9 million acres of forests in the U.S. and Canada.

The U.S. Forest Service will work with local foresters to plant the one million trees over the next several months. Dale Bosworth, U.S. Forest Service Chief, said, "Arbor Day is the perfect time to help replant the hundreds of thousands of acres of ravaged forestland. We're grateful to Enterprise for their assistance in answering this critical need."

This announcement comes on the heels of a $25 million gift from Enterprise founder Jack Taylor and his wife Susan to create the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels as part of a leading biofuel research center located in the Midwest.

"This 50 Million Tree Pledge, combined with our support of renewable biofuels research and other initiatives we are undertaking in our company operations, including the addition of hybrid vehicles in our fleet, are part of a long-term commitment to sustain our business by addressing the parts of the world that our business touches," said Taylor.

In October 2006, First Lady Laura Bush joined Enterprise Rent-A-Car Chairman and CEO Andy Taylor to announce the Enterprise Rent-A-Car 50 Million Tree Pledge. Last year's initial planting programs included post-fire reforestation projects in California, Colorado, Oregon, and British Columbia, as well as longleaf pine restoration in Alabama and creation of habitat in Michigan for the endangered Kirtland's Warbler.

For more information on previous and current planting projects, or more details on the 50 Million Tree Pledge, please visit http://www.arborday.org/enterprise or http://www.arborday.org/ and click on the Enterprise Rent-A-Car 50 Million Tree Pledge icon.

How The 50 Million Tree Pledge Works

This unique collaboration between The National Arbor Day Foundation, the U.S. Forest Service, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car brings together the best of three worlds:
  • Each year, The National Arbor Day Foundation -- a world-class non profit organization -- will identify a number of tree planting projects throughout the U.S. and work with similar agencies to find planting projects in Europe and Canada.
  • Enterprise, a corporate citizen committed to giving back, will fund as many of these planting projects as possible -- totaling one million trees each year, and will announce those projects in conjunction with National Arbor Day each year.
  • The National Arbor Day Foundation will work with the U.S. Forest Service, the public agency charged with protecting and preserving the National Forests, which will plant the trees where they are needed most.
About Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Founded in 1957, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car is headquartered in St. Louis and serves customers in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Ireland and Germany. Enterprise ranks No. 21 on the Forbes Top 500 Private Companies in America. Enterprise has ranked highest in customer satisfaction among airport car rentals in seven out of the past eight years, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Rental Car Satisfaction Study(SM). For more information about Enterprise, visit http://www.enterprise.com/.

About The National Arbor Day Foundation

The National Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit, environmental education organization of nearly 1 million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.