To express their gratitude to our brave men and women who have served in the armed services, Saluting Branches will be holding the fifth annual Saluting Branches: Arborists united for Veteran Remembrance Day of Service on Wednesday, September 18, 2019. Saluting Branches is a non-profit organization originated by Rainbow Treecare, who partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Cemetery Administration, to create a national day of volunteer tree care services at Veterans cemeteries. Locally, this year’s event includes a day of service at Camp Butler National Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. The goal of the event is to help make our troops’ final resting places safe and beautiful environments for all who visit.
Saluting Branches is the largest one-day volunteer event in the industry. In 2018, the event had over 3,000 volunteers from 636 companies and organizations who put in an estimated 24,000 hours in one day at 53 locations across the country. More than an estimated $3 million dollars in services were donated last year by arborists doing the work they love!
The City of Champaign has sent volunteers and equipment to participate in Saluting Branches since it began in 2015. Champaign Forestry Section staff worked at Camp Butler in both 2015 and 2016. The local effort then moved to the Danville National Cemetery in Danville, Illinois, where Forestry staff volunteered at this location in 2017 and 2018. Champaign will return to Camp Butler in Springfield on September 18, and send four Certified Arborists, equipment, and the Forestry Supervisor to assist in this year’s event.