From towering Sequoias to color-changing Maples, trees are some of the most stunning parts of our parklands! Not only are they beautiful, but trees play a vital role in maintaining the health of their environment - they provide habitats for wildlife, remove carbon from the atmosphere, create oxygen, and largely contribute to the biodiversity of an area. Trees do so much for us, but what can we do to appreciate and protect them? With the release of our new collection, we are reminding ourselves how we can channel our love of trees with these 10 ways to be a tree hugger!


Hannah Bendall sporting Parks Project's newest Tree Hugger collection.

1. Go on a nature walk or hike
You don’t need to hug trees to be a tree hugger! Being a tree hugger can look like a ton of different things, but one of our personal favorites is simply to take a walk or hike amongst the trees. Go for a stroll with friends in your neighborhood or local park, or if you’re feeling up for more of an adventure, head out for a hike in the forest! 

2. Stay on trail
By making sure we hike on distinguishable trails and pathways, we can prevent soil erosion, compaction, or potential destruction of tree saplings! In general, sticking to pre-existing trails helps us reduce human impact on our parklands and protect them for years to come.

A cozy walk in the snowy woods wearing Parks Project's reversible vest.

3. Pay attention to signs
Keep your eyes peeled and pay attention to any informational signs or placards put up by local, state, or federal agencies that provide information about plants, animals, or the history of the area you are recreating in. Oftentimes when reading these signs, we will learn something new!

4. Volunteer with local organizations
Try looking out for volunteer opportunities at your local parks! For example, maybe there are tree-planting events, invasive species removal days, or trash clean-ups that need extra pairs of hands! Check out the photo below for a volunteer day we hosted with California State Parks Foundation in January at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park! We spent the day restoring damaged fences that line the trails, thus protecting the beautiful California Redwoods!

Parks Project volunteering in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

5. Meditate amongst the trees
On your next hike, find a good place to sit for a bit and practice breathwork or meditation. Pay attention to the sights and sounds of nature as you breathe - you might just find yourself feeling more peaceful and calm. Need a little extra help or guidance? Try using our Nature Meditation cards!

6. Promote native plant landscapes
Native plants and animals are crucial to maintaining balance in their local ecosystems. When invasive species are introduced to an area, they pose threats to the environment by outcompeting the native species or even increasing the risk of wildfire. 
Luckily we have the power to help native species thrive by joining initiatives to remove invasive species, educating yourself and others about native species in your area, or even starting a community garden that focuses on growing native plants! 
7. Recreate responsibly
When out in the parks, whether for hiking, camping, or recreating in general, it is important that we treat the area, trees, and plants kindly! 

  • Avoid picking or breaking branches, plants, and flowers
  • Set up your campsite within designated areas
  • When setting up a hammock, make sure to choose thick, healthy trees
Hammocking under the trees with Parks Project.

8. Have a picnic in a park
One of life’s simple pleasures, a picnic! When the weather permits, plan a picnic under a park tree and invite some friends or family to join you! Having a nature experience doesn’t need to involve a grand adventure to a national park - keep it sweet and simple with quality time in your local outdoor spaces.

9. Tree photography
A great way to hold onto the beauty of a treescape a little longer is by photographing it! Stop and take a moment to admire the way the light peeks through the trees, or the vibrant colors of flowering trees in the spring. Our Big Sur Polaroid is a great tool to capture some truly special photos of your time with the trees! 


The trees of Sequoia National Park.

10. Advocate for trees
Unfortunately, not all beautiful landscapes and natural environments are protected by local, state, or federal organizations. There are times when natural spaces are at risk of being cleared or developed upon, and need our help to defend them! Three meaningful things we can do is advocate for policies that protect trees and the environment, mobilize support within the community, and engage with policymakers! It’s important that, once in a while, we remember to give back to the environment to thank it for all that it provides us - think of it as a big hug to a tree! ;) 


Parks Project team during our staff retreat to Sequoia National Park leaving it better than we found it.
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