FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Maui’s “Plant a Wish” Project Returns to Islands for 50-State Native Tree Planting Tour Finale on November 5th
Makawao couple to finish historic tour at home in Hawaii in celebration of Arbor Day
(Makawao, HI) October 17, 2011 – The Plant a Wish project, a 50-state native tree planting tour and documentary film founded by Maui filmmakers Joe Imhoff and Sara Tekula, is scheduled to finish in Hawaii on November 5th with a statewide native tree planting effort and celebration. Hawaii residents are encouraged to participate in planting events being scheduled across the state, or to simply plant a native tree in their yard on this day. The plantings will count towards the “Native Tree Plant-Out”, which includes a statewide count of the number of people participating and the number of native trees planted in one day. After the day’s events, participants are encouraged to “register” their planted trees on the Plant a Wish website. The couple hopes to make the event an annual one.
Since Summer 2010, Imhoff and Tekula have been traveling throughout the Unit ed States on a series of three “tree planting road trips”. They recently planted in their 49th state, which happened to be Wyoming, and are now returning to Maui to prepare for the finale. In each state they visited, they coordinated with local organizations and a variety of citizens to hold community tree planting events. In each place a locally indigenous tree is chosen, usually donated from a local nursery, and is planted with the handwritten wishes of community members underneath, hence the project’s name, “Plant a Wish”. The trees are marked with GPS and left behind with caretakers. The entire project has been documented for a feature-length film the couple plans to release next year through their production company, Noni Films.
Imhoff and Tekula have scheduled their tour’s “finale” to coincide with Hawaii’s Arbor Day, celebrated annually with tree giveaways and events statewide on November 5th.
“We wanted to save Hawaii – the best – for last, and to hold the tour finale at a time when Hawaii is fully engaged in the topic of trees. What better time than Arbor Day?”, says Sara Tekula. “Our entire tour has been about highlighting the great things that communities are doing across the country to leave the land a little better than the way they found it. We feel Hawaii is at the forefront of doing great things for the ‘aina and we’re excited to capture that energy for our film.”
The filmmakers plan to document on video many of the activities of November 5th themselves and encourage videographers and photographers across the state to document events near them. All footage and photos can be submitted to Noni Films for possible inclusion in the finished Plant a Wish film.
Over the past 15 months, the duo has “traveled over 23,000 miles around the country, organized community planting events in 49 mainland states as well as in Washington D.C., and planted many varieties of native tree with countless community members,” according to founder Joe Imhoff.
“The entire tour has been funded by the community, from hundreds of donations of varying amounts, from $1 to $2,500,” adds founder Sara Tekula. “With the help of our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, From the Heart Productions, we have been able to raise $20,000 so far. [Local Maui business] Skyline Eco-Adventures was our biggest supporter and main tour sponsor.”
Any interested parties who would like to participate on November 5th by organizing a tree planting event in their area can call Sara Tekula at 808-250-4030 or Joe Imhoff at 808-250-1469 to have their event listed.
To connect with tree planting events happening near you, visit http://www.plantawish.org/nov-5 for a complete listing, which is updated daily as more events are scheduled around the islands. Contact information for participating native tree nurseries is also available on the website.
About Plant a Wish:
Plant a Wish is a native tree planting project founded in Hawaii that brings local communities together, holds hands-on native tree planting ceremonies in all 50 states, and will culminate in an informative and fun documentary film. Visit http://www.plantawish.org for more information.
Sara Tekula, Media Relations for Plant a Wish
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