General FAQs

Whatcom Million Trees Project is a 501c3 non-profit organization in Bellingham. Our mission is to plant and protect one-million trees over the next five years (2022 thru 2026) in Whatcom County — to urgently address climate and biodiversity crises and to enhance the health and resilience of our local communities..

Yes. As a 501c3 non-profit, tax-deductible benefits may be available to you within the guidelines of U.S. law. To claim a donation as a deduction on your U.S. taxes, please keep our email donation receipt as your official record. We’ll send it to you upon successful completion of your donation.

Our focus is to think innovatively and BIG to form unique partnerships and/or funding approaches to plant and protect more trees. Virtually all funds raised will support local tree planting and protection efforts. Another big part of our focus will be to hold compelling community events to raise community awareness about the multi-faceted benefits of trees and forests.

We have our own team of tree-planting/work crew volunteers for smaller projects. (Join them!) For our larger tree-planting projects, we usually work with one or more of our partners below who have decades of successful tree-planting experience locally.
— Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association
— Whatcom Land Trust
— Whatcom Conservation District
— City of Bellingham Parks & Recreation Dept.
— Whatcom County Parks & Recreation Dept.

Yes. Keep in mind our million-trees goal includes protecting existing mature trees, not just planting trees. After all, protecting existing mature forests gives immediate carbon capture and biodiversity benefits. Tree seedlings planted won’t start to provide those benefits significantly until they exceed 20 years of age. Over five years, we’ll plant one half-million trees and protect one half-million existing trees as our mix. Even a half-million trees planted will double the current tree-planting rate within the County over the next five years.

We currently estimate that approximately 85% of projects we fund will plant trees for critical habitat restoration on public lands within the County. The remaining 15% will be in local parks and urban parcels that are more visible and readily accessible by residents.

Many of us are deeply concerned (and already affected) by the climate crisis. But here’s the reality: there are no easy solutions. Systemic changes in government policies, corporate/industry practices, lifestyle changes, and more are all needed to greatly reduce our carbon emissions. Planting large quantities of trees to increase carbon sequestration is simply one piece of a multi-faceted approach. But it’s an important piece. And when well-conceived and ecologically-sound, it also provides numerous health and well-being benefits to all life.

Tree costs vary depending on land accessibility, extent of volunteer help, and other variables. Steps include site preparation (such as removing invasive blackberry and reed canary grass, big issues in our region), tree seedling purchase, interim storage (usually refrigerated), site delivery, planting team coordination costs, and maintenance and monitoring for a few years. Elsewhere in the world these steps sometimes total to ~$1/tree. Here in Whatcom County they tend to add up to $7-$12 per tree, depending on the site. Thus we budget $10/tree on average. That’s why we’re focused on innovative co-funding to cover the full costs of such projects.

Yes! There are many awesome and affordable ways businesses can partner with us. << Please click this link!

Carbon offsets/credits cannot be purchased from us. But we ARE creating ambitious tree planting/protection projects with experienced carbon credit consultants on our team that will develop the necessary documentation to qualify the project’s carbon savings for certified carbon credits.

If you’re a business seeking estimates of how many trees you should plant based on your sustainability or carbon neutrality goals, we can help you estimate this. We have already done this for a local contractor. Please contact us.

Yes! We are so glad you asked! Please see our awesome online bookstore for kids and teens (coming soon!) that will be focused on trees, climate change, and related topics. We have worked hard to curate the offerings to be the best-of-bests! The vast majority of the books are multiple-award-winners!

Yes, absolutely! We have been holding fun work parties for smaller tree-plantings in local parks and public lands. Please get on our contact list to be notified of upcoming work parties. All are well-run, safe, fun, full of fresh air, and for a very good cause!

Awesome! Check out our volunteering page for how you can get more involved. Thanks!

Donation FAQs

Definitely! In our cool donation app and other donation options we provide, the amount you give in USD will be automatically converted from your local currency.

Yes. Although our donation page can process bank fund transfers, if you prefer to mail in a donation, please make the check to “Whatcom Million Trees Project” and mail it to: Whatcom Million Trees Project, 4107 Harrison St., Bellingham, WA 98229. Please remember to include your email address so we can email a receipt to you that you can use in your year-end tax return.

Yes! Simply choose the Recurring Donation Amount option in our donation app. Then you will be able to enter an amount and month, quarter or yearly repeat rate. You can also set a date for the payments to stop. (Or you can always contact us anytime you want to stop.)

Yes! Please click the Dedicate This Gift button in our donation app. You can optionally notify someone of this gift by email.

Yes. For a donation under $250, you will receive a personalized email thank you letter from us. You can forward that to who you desire, or print and mail it to the person. For a donation $250 or greater, you (or whoever you specify) will receive a beautiful thank you card by mail from us.

Soon we will open an awesome online bookstore via our Resources page focused on tree/climate change/nature awareness for kids, teens, and adults. If you choose to buy one of those books, we will earn a small affiliate fee, at no extra cost to you. Every bit of support helps! To be notified when the bookstore is available, please contact us.

Yes! Simply choose that option during the donation check-out process.

Yes! A contribution of appreciated securities may create significant tax savings* for you and help you to be more philanthropic than you imagined possible. For details, please contact us. *Please consult your own tax advisor/CPA for your unique situation.

We’re an all-volunteer non-profit that will continue to work remotely even post-covid. So our overhead/operational costs are relatively minor. That’s how we can guarantee that 90% or more of all donations will go locally towards healthy and thriving forests and parks.

It will depend on the time of year you donate and how long it takes for us to raise additional funds for the planting project site. In general, tree plantings usually will occur during colder/wetter months (November-April) to give tree seedlings optimal conditions for survival.

We will work hard to keep you in the loop on how your donation is being used. When your planting session takes place, you’ll receive an update with photos and information provided by our partners.

Have a question we haven’t answered? Please give us a shout!