- Penny Pines is now a project of National Garden Clubs, Inc
- Fallbrook Garden Club has donated over 100 plantations!
The national forests in California cover some 20 million acres, or about 1/5 of the state. That is equal to an area just slightly larger than the state of South Carolina . Stretching from the Mexican border to Oregon, these forests include a variety of terrain and vegetation types. These areas of great beauty and majestic stature are plagued by divesting problems, such as natural and man-caused fire, pests and disease. These cause vast depletion and destruction of the national forests in California . It takes thousands of firefighters and hundreds of pieces of specialized equipment working long hours to control these blazing infernos. Fires like these leave total destruction in their wake. As destructive as fires are, disease and insect infestation destroy seven times more forest vegetation annually than fires because forests pests are scattered and not easily detected, so are harder to control.In time some land may recover naturally. Penny Pines provides a helping hand. It is a conservation program in which everyone can participate.
In 1941, California 's first Penny Pines plantation was sponsored by the San Francisco Sports-women's Association. Recognizing the great need to restore these devastated areas, the association sent their donation to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in northern California . Since that contribution, the number of participating groups and individuals has grown each year. They include such organizations as the Garden and Women's Clubs, Boy and Girl Scouts of America, civic and sportsmen's clubs, and many others.
At the start of the program in 1941, seedlings could be produced for about one cent each. Approximately 680 seedlings were used to plant a typical acre. For $68.00, seedlings for ten acres could be purchased. Site preparation and planting costs were met through regular Forest Service appropriations. The Penny Pines program was so successful that money contributed to purchase seedlings soon far exceeded 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 be used for reforestation, rather than solely for purchasing seedlings.
Over the years these groups have contributed more than a million dollars to the Penny Pines Reforestation Program. Through these donations, more than 27 million of seedlings have been planted, renewing 88,000 acres of national forest land in California --truly an outstanding achievement. In southern California , contributions may be used to prepare plantation sites for new trees or planting seedlings grown in Forest Service nurseries throughout California . Seedlings are grown from local seeds and acorns, and replanted near the areas where the seeds were collected to improve their chance of survival. The funds may also be used to maintain existing tree stands and improve wildlife habitat. Plantations are important for watershed protection, soil stabilization and shade for recreation areas. Any of these activities may be funded through Penny Pines donations. The Penny Pines Reforestation Program plays a vital role both in renewing the national forests in California , and in multiple-use management. Trees help the ground store precious water, protect against soil erosion, and add to the scenic beauty of the national forests.A minimum donation of $68.00 may be made to a specific national forest, and even to a specific Ranger District within that national forest. The funds are deposited into a Penny Pines Reforestation account, drawn upon as improvement projects are determined by resource managers. A certificate of appreciation and thank you note is sent to each donor. An initial donation from an organization or individual, or one honoring a deceased person, may also have a memorial plaque installed at a Ranger District Penny Pines Memorial. Your donation to the Penny Pines Project will help bring new life into our National Forests!