Photo Courtesy of Tennessee Environmental Council

Photo Courtesy of Tennessee Environmental Council

May 31, 2016

Dear River Citizens,

Thanks to your hard work and dedication, many of our Mississippi River communities, from the headwaters to the gulf, are seeing significant improvements to our River and towns. Whether organizing River clean-ups, picking up trash in neighborhoods, planting native plants and trees or writing decision makers to encourage them to take action for the River, River Citizens are directly affecting the River’s health.

Our friends and fellow River Citizens at the Tennessee Environmental Council (TEC), for example, organized a massive state-wide effort to plant 50,000 native trees in a one day event, called “50K Tree Day.” TEC and their supporters distributed 50,000 native oak, tulip, poplar, pine, redbud, and dogwood seedlings to individuals and organizations across the state—at no cost—to be planted in more than 80 counties. You read that correctly: 50,000 free native trees! TEC’s CEO, John McFadden, says that “[p]eople in Tennessee love planting trees, and it’s a top priority for our organization as a way to improve our environment, communities and public health.”1

Photo Courtesy of Tennessee Environmental Council

Photo Courtesy of Tennessee Environmental Council

And trees do provide many essential benefits. They help to prevent erosion and flooding and provide habitat for many bird, insect, and mammal species. Trees also are beautiful to look at and produce oxygen and filter the air, making the air we breathe cleaner and safer.

So, thank you, TEC and all River Citizens, for working so hard to make the Mississippi River region better for all. Your commitment to your communities is truly inspiring and will surely be seen for generations to come!

For information about one of the many volunteer opportunities in your community, please visit our website at Or if you would like 1 Mississippi to help spread the word about events that you are organizing, please contact me at

All the best,

Brooke Thurau

1 Mississippi Campaign Coordinator

1“50K Tree Day looking for volunteers to help plant seedlings.” Times Free Press, February 25, 2016,