For the second year in a row, CGI Federal will sponsor the planting of 7,000 longleaf pine trees—approximately one tree for each CGI Federal member—through the Arbor Day Foundation. This donation recognizes our members’ passion for improving the environment and commemorates two historic milestones: the 50th anniversary of the Arbor Day Foundation and the 150th anniversary of the Arbor Day holiday on April 29 this year.
CGI’s sponsorship will support the Foundation’s work, alongside the Longleaf Alliance project, to plant more than 400,000 longleaf pines in across 18 private lands in North Carolina, with the landowners’ participation. CGI Federal’s sponsorship will restore 10.5 acres. The trees will reduce forest fragmentation, reduce erosion and re-establish habitat for the red-cockaded woodpecker, indigo snake and gopher tortoise, among other species.
CGI Federal’s partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation reflects our corporate commitment to a more environmentally sustainable world,” said CGI Vice President Will LaBar.
“As demonstrated by our commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2030, CGI is dedicated to making a positive impact on the environment and addressing the challenges of climate change through responsible operating practices, delivering sustainability solutions to our clients and taking action in our communities," he added.
Four hundred years ago, longleaf pines covered the southern landscape from what is now Virginia to Texas. Early settlers cleared these trees for development and agriculture, using the valuable lumber for building ships and railroads.
Much of that land became homes, businesses, roads and other elements of human habitation. Where foresters planted more trees, they were often less hearty varieties that do not provide the same benefits as the longleaf pine: resistance to pests, tolerance to wildfires and drought and the ability to capture carbon pollution from the atmosphere. While the acres are green with forestation, the ecological benefits are diminished.
The loss of the trees also affects more than 600 plant and animal species that had depended on it for habitat. As naturalist John Muir wrote in 1911, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."