“Plant One Million” Campaign Reaches Halfway

SEMINARY Bishop and tree and seminarians

Bishop Senior gets ready to bless the white oak tree, planted in honor of Pope Francis. Photo by Bonnie Squires.

(left to right) Bishop Timothy Senior; Margaret McCarvill, Interim Executive Director of the PA Horticultural Society; and Alan Jaffe, PHS Director of Communications, at the tree planting at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. photo by Bonnie Squires

Left to right: Bishop Timothy Senior; Margaret McCarvill, Interim Executive Director of the PA Horticultural Society; and Alan Jaffe, PHS Director of Communications, at the tree planting at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. Photo by Bonnie Squires.

Bonnie Squires talks with BIshop Senior before the tree blessing ceremony. photo by Jimmy Owens

Bonnie Squires talks with BIshop Senior before the tree blessing ceremony. Photo by Jimmy Owens.

Plant One Million, the largest multi-state tree-planting effort in the nation, is a regional partnership to plant 1 million trees throughout 13 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and the state of Delaware. The goal is to restore the tree canopy cover — the area of land shaded by trees — in the Greater Philadelphia region to 30%.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) reached a major milestone in the Plant One Million campaign this month, when it planted the 500,000th tree at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood.

The white oak tree was planted at the Seminary, located at 100 East Wynnewood Rd., Wynnewood, PA, in honor of the visit of Pope Francis, whose recent encyclical urges everyone to take responsibility for care of the environment. Bishop Timothy Senior blessed the tree on the grounds of the seminary, after Vespers services. Margaret McCarvill, Interim Executive Director of PHS, also spoke at the ceremony.

The September 1 tree planting coincided with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation established by Pope Francis to remind us of our role as custodians of creation.

Plant One Million is led by PHS, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, the TreeVitalize program of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, the New Jersey Tree Foundation, and the Delaware Center for Horticulture. Residents throughout the region are being asked to add at least one tree to their home landscape, and to “count” their tree on the Plant One Million website to strengthen research and the impact of the tree canopy.

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