More than 60 cyclists from around the world took part in the 2010 STIHL Tour des Trees, America’s largest fundraiser for tree research, raising more than $365,000 so far during this year’s tour to benefit the Tree Research and Education Endowment (TREE) Fund.
The weeklong cycling event launched from Chicago’s Millennium Park on July 18 with a performance by Rolling Stone keyboardist Chuck Leavell. A noted conservationist, Leavell also performed a benefit concert the night before the opening ceremony, with proceeds benefitting the TREE Fund and the American Forest Foundation.
“The hard work from these cyclists and the money raised this week to benefit tree research will not only affect our environment and the trees around the country, but enrich our communities for years to come,” said Leavell at the STIHL Tour des Trees benefit.
The 65 cyclists of the 2010 Tour traveled 500 miles through northern Illinois in six days.
“We received a warm hometown welcome from Illinois, and we were so pleased that so many here care about the health of America’s urban trees,” said Janet Bornancin, executive director of the TREE Fund, which is based in Naperville, Ill. “With the money raised from the Tour, we can continue to fund the research needed to maintain and care for our urban forests.”
Since its inception in 1992, the Tour has generated more than $4.8 million and has funded a host of diverse projects to address invasive pests, urban planting challenges, tree biomechanics and worker safety.
“The TREE Fund is a great organization that furthers the work of the tree care industry,” said Roger Phelps of STIHL Inc., which has sponsored the Tour for 10 years. “Those professionals use our products every day to maintain the health of trees, and we’re proud to give back to the community by supporting tree research.”
Sponsors of the 2010 STIHL Tour des Trees included Title Sponsor STIHL Inc., Crown Sponsor Bartlett Tree Experts, TREE Fund Partners Asplundh Tree Expert Co. and KASK America, Educational Programming Sponsor The Davey Tree Expert Company, Gold Leaf Sponsors Ameren, Rainbow Tree Care Scientific Advancements and Wright Tree Service, Inc., and Silver Leaf Sponsors Arizona Public Service, Bee¹, Collier Arbor Care, ComEd, Gamma Tree Experts, ITC Holdings Corp., Lewis Tree Service, National Grid, Navistar, The Care of Trees, UUSCO and West Coast Arborists.
Donations to support the STIHL Tour des Trees will continue to be accepted through December 31. For more information, visit www.stihltourdestrees.org.