Cheering for a Portland Thorns goal this year has taken on a whole new meaning. For every Thorns goal scored, the club will plant 100 trees in partnership with One Tree Planted and Keep Oregon Green.
“Stand Together, the club’s community outreach arm, has been planting trees for a long time, but we have never done something to this magnitude,” said Blair Neelands, Stand Together’s sustainability and outreach coordinator. “With this initiative, we have the opportunity to plant thousands of trees every year. Soon, Oregon will have a ‘Thorns Forest’ that represents the dedication and inspiration of female athletes as well as provides necessary reforestation to a fire-damaged region.”
“We’re honored to partner with the Thorns team on this initiative,” said Diana Chaplin, Canopy Director at One Tree Planted. “Strong women taking a stand for the environment makes a very powerful statement and shows that athletes can be incredible role models for positive change.”
Trees planted through this partnership will be part of the restoration projects across the Malheur National Forest and surrounding areas. The Canyon Creek Fire Complex in 2015 and the Rail Fire in 2016 removed all forest vegetation from thousands of acres in this region. Due to environmental conditions since those fires, there are large areas still devoid of surviving seedlings. Thorns goals this year will plant trees in these areas to assist in the regeneration process and give native ecosystems a helping hand in restoring healthy, beautiful, and biodiverse forests.
“Two seasons ago, we were among the first American sports teams to sign on to the UN’s Sport for Climate Action Framework, so this partnership comes as part of our broader commitment to address climate change and to achieve net-zero carbon,” said Neelands.
Fans can join us in further contributing to this goal and help us grow the Thorns Forest.