$68 Helps Reforest California’s Forests
The Penny Pines Program was initiated in California in 1941. It started small under the sponsorship of the San Francisco Sportswomen’s Association.
In succeeding years, school children of the San Mateo County Schools made the first contribution used for reforestation on the Shasta-Trinity National Forests in northern California. Over the years, the number of groups participating in the program has continued to grow.
Why is the contribution $68?
At the start of the program seedlings could be produced for about 1 cent each and, 680 seedlings were used to plant a typical acre. For $68, seedlings for ten acres could be purchased. Site preparation and planting costs were met through regular Forest Service appropriations.
Even today, the $68 donation provides support for nearly one acre of reforestation.
The Program was so successful that money contributed to purchase seedlings soon exceeded the appropriated funds available for site preparation and for the actual planting job. In 1964, the original cooperative agreement was rewritten to provide that funds contributed under the Penny Pines Program are to be used for reforestation, rather than for the purchase of seedlings only.
Over $1 Million and 88,000 Acres of Forest Replanted
To date, those pennies have amounted to well over 1 million dollars, and the program is a statewide conservation project supported by numerous individuals, organizations, Garden Clubs, women’s clubs, men’s service organizations, youth groups and schools.
Almost every National Forest in California has a Penny Pines plantation area. A sign at each plantation lists the organizations which have donated to that particular site. Since funds are sent to the closest National Forest, contributors are able to visit the plantation sites and enjoy the results of the contributions.
Throughout the years, the Penny Pines donations have helped maintain the National Forests in California. Participation in the program has also helped many people understand the important things about conservation of natural resources and wise management of the public forest lands that belong to them.