Target: Founder of Hike for KaTREEna organization Monique Pilié
Goal: Applaud the work of committed volunteers for raising money and replanting trees in the city of New Orleans.
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Louisiana in August 2005, the storm devastated everything in its path. The incredibly strong winds and torrential downpours resulted in severe damage to the city’s landscape, including the loss of over 100,000 trees. Beautiful live oaks and magnolia trees fell victim to the hurricane, leaving fallen debris on roadways and houses as well as a city without urban tree cover. However, thanks to the efforts of New Orleans lifelong citizen, Monique Pilié and her non-profit organization Hike for KaTREEna, New Orleans’ treescape is being repaired one tree at a time.
In 2006, Pilié started on her quest to restore the thousands of trees lost in the storm by hiking all 2175 miles of the Appalachian Trail, beginning in Georgia. Her mission was to raise enough money to plant a tree for each mile she successfully hiked and heighten national awareness on the disastrous impacts Hurricane Katrina had on the region’s vegetation. After 6 months, she finished the Appalachian trail and headed back to New Orleans. Over the course of her hike, Pilié raised thousands of dollars and with the help of a collection of volunteers, began reforesting her beloved city. Since the creation of this organization, 13,410 trees have been planted and that number will only continue to increase as the years go on.
Michael T. Rains, Director of the Northern Research Station of the USDA Forest Service stated that “trees are an important part of the urban landscape…they play a role in improving air and water quality and provide so many environmental and social benefits.” The collaborative efforts of community groups and assorted company’s sponsorships as well as individual volunteers have significantly benefited New Orleans, promoting the growth of new trees and the rehabilitation of a community once devastated. Commend the efforts of the Hike for KaTREEna organization and help bring even more attention to this great cause.
Dear Monique Pilié,
I would like to applaud you on the foundation of your organization, Hike for KaTREEna, and the hard work and effort you have put into this great cause. After Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the city of New Orleans, hundreds of thousands of beautiful trees were lost to the storm. As vital, living organisms, trees provide a fresh supply of oxygen as well as add natural beauty to any urban landscape. Thanks to the commitment from you and every other volunteer working with Hike for KaTREEna, New Orleans’ treescape will undoubtedly be restored in no time.
Hike for KaTREEna has already planted over 13,000 trees, a significant increase in the total amount of tree cover in New Orleans. With all the logging and natural disasters currently destroying the trees and forests of not only the U.S but the entire world, it is imperative that we do our best to reforest as much of our land as possible. Once again, I commend you for taking action after the hurricane of 2005 and working to plant trees to make up for those that were lost during the storm.
[Your Name Here]