Planting for Carbon Credit with TreeFolks, Notes from Polar Pack

This past week Polar Pack had the great opportunity to work with TreeFolks, an Austin-based nonprofit dedicated to local habitat restoration.  On Monday Polar Pack met with Valeri Tamburri, an enthusiastic TXCC alumna. Valeri informed us that we would sort and prepare 50,000 trees for the 2020-planting season. Additionally, our crew would plant 1,300 saplings. 

Though the task seemed daunting at first, it was for a worthy cause. Valeri explained that we were contributing to TreeFolks’s new carbon credit initiative. The City of Austin has a carbon neutrality goal. To balance its carbon emissions, Austin can buy carbon credits. The math is complicated. Simply put, a single acre of land with trees on it retains a measurable amount of carbon and provides a measurable amount of shade. These factors along with others are used to calculate the credit of an acre of land. The City of Austin can then buy the carbon credits from TreeFolks to offset its carbon emissions. Other cities and even countries buy and sell carbon credits. The TreeFolks program, however, is unique, in that the carbon credits are sourced locally! 

Polar Pack spent most of the week counting and mixing saplings in buckets and crates. We shoveled mulch and unloaded plant deliveries. Plant species included pecan trees, bald cypresses, catalpa, retama, brazil wood, acanthus, and beauty berry, Mexican buckeye, Texas persimmon, and many more. For three days we used dibble bars and rock bars to plant upland and wetland trees at sites around Austin. Our fastest planters were Mel and our newest Polar Pack member, Nico! Planting life was a welcome change from sawing invasive species and applying herbicide. 

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