For the seventh consecutive year, Publix Super Markets is supporting the Arbor Day Foundation by funding tree plantings to support reforestation projects throughout Florida. Funded by a portion of the proceeds from the sale of reusable bags, these plantings are part of its efforts to support the restoration of damaged watersheds.
Most recently, Publix funded the planting of 269,000 trees in Econfina Creek, a once-thriving forest ecosystem in the Florida Panhandle that was devastated by Hurricane Michael in 2018.
The plantings, completed earlier this year, will help restore critical habitats for wildlife and reduce water runoff. The latest donation brings the company’s contribution to 1 million trees planted over seven years.
Commemorating the milestone
To commemorate the millionth tree planted and in honor of National Plant Something Day, a tree-planting ceremony was held at Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland, Florida.
At 168 acres, Bonnet Springs Park was originally one of Florida’s largest rail yard operations. But after closing in the 1980s, the property sat unused for more than 40 years before reopening as a park in 2022.
“We’re proud to commemorate the millionth tree milestone at Bonnet Springs Park alongside the Arbor Day Foundation,” said CEO Todd Jones.
“It’s in our mission to be involved as responsible citizens in our communities, which includes improving the areas in which we serve. We look forward to continuing to care for our associates, customers and communities by being good stewards of our environment.”
Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation chief executive, said, “Publix’s donations have been instrumental in making a positive environmental impact across Florida. We are grateful for their continued support over the last seven years.”
How Publix’s donation makes a difference
Watersheds are essential for supplying drinking water, creating habitats for plants and animals and protecting ecosystems. Trees planted from Publix donations help protect watersheds by reducing runoff, allowing more water to soak into the soil, reach aquifers and be transformed into usable drinking water.
In addition to Econfina Creek, the donations to the Arbor Day Foundation have funded tree plantings in Little Orange Creek Nature Preserve in Alachua County; Sunnyhill Restoration Area in Umatilla; Emeralda Marsh in Leesburg; and Withlacoochee River Watershed, which flows through Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Levy, Marion, Pasco, Polk and Sumter counties in Florida.
Moving forward, Publix plans to expand tree plantings to other states within the company’s operating area.
For more information on the company’s sustainability efforts, visit sustainability.publix.com.