In 1941, California's first Penny Pines plantation was sponsored by the San Francisco Sports-Women's Association. Recognizing the great need to restore these devastated areas, the association sent their donation to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in northern California.
Since that contribution, the number of participating groups and individuals has grown each year. They include such organizations as the Garden and Women’s Clubs, Boy and Girl Scouts of America, civic and sportsmen’s clubs, and many others, including the Redwood City Woman's Club.
At the start of the program in 1941, seedlings could be produced for about one cent each. Approximately 680 seedlings were used to plant a typical acre. For $68.00, seedlings for ten acres could be purchased. Site preparation and planting costs were met through regular Forest Service appropriations.
The Penny Pines program was so successful that money contributed to purchase seedlings soon far exceeded appropriated funds available for site preparation and for the actual planting job.
In 1964, the original cooperative agreement was rewritten to provide that funds contributed under the Penny Pines program be used for reforestation, rather than solely for purchasing seedlings.
Over the years groups have contributed more than a million dollars to the Penny Pines Reforestation Program. Through these donations, more than 27 million of seedlings have been planted, renewing 88,000 acres of national forest land in California--truly an outstanding achievement.
Contributions may be used to prepare plantation sites for new trees or planting seedlings grown in Forest Service nurseries throughout California. Seedlings are grown from local seeds and acorns, and replanted near the areas where the seeds were collected to improve their change of survival. The funds may also be used to maintain existing tree stands and improve wildlife habitat. Plantations are important for watershed protection, soil stabilization and shade for recreation areas. Any of these activities may be funded through Penny Pines donations.
The Penny Pines Reforestation Program plays a vital role both in renewing the national forests in California, and in multiple-use management. Trees help the ground store precious water, protect against soil erosion, and add to the scenic beauty of the national forests.
The RCWC has a long-standing tradition of donating to Penny Pines in honor of lost club members and to honor lost loved-ones of members. We have chosen to send our contributions to the Eldorado National Forest.
Click here to see a US Forest Service BROCHURE