The Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS) family of brands, which includes Encore RV resorts and Thousand Trails campgrounds, has entered into a multi-year agreement with American Forests, enhancing the company’s commitment to sustainability throughout the country.
The announcement comes on National Arbor Day (the last Friday in April) and extends beyond ELS’ resort and campground locations with a pledge to plant 100,000 trees as part of American Forests’ American ReLeaf program.
The objective of the American ReLeaf program is to conserve and restore forests across North America, particularly in several essential ecosystems that need to be reforested. Using science-based techniques, American Forests works with local partners to select and prepare sites for planting and to reforest in ways that help ensure the new forests will thrive for years to come. Forests provide numerous benefits including helping to mitigate climate change, improving water and air quality and providing wildlife habitat.
With about 8,000 forested acres and a wide range of wildlife across ELS properties, the Company is committed to maintaining biodiversity across the portfolio and creating assets that are connected to their local and natural environments. This collaboration will extend ELS’ commitment to enhance this impact beyond the properties and help American Forests expand on their goal of creating healthy forests from coast to coast.
The teams have identified key locations where the 100,000 trees will be planted, with multiple forests including the Southeast and the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuges in Texas. Based on data from American Forests, it is estimated these trees will capture, store and filter 12,732,063 gallons of water a year. This amount would fill about 19 Olympic swimming pools. By the time they’re 50 years old, these forests will have stored approximately 20,950 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in their roots, stems and trunks. This is roughly equivalent to the annual carbon emissions from energy use in 2,523 American homes.
There are also plans for a variety of educational and marketing opportunities across the brands, highlighting progress toward hitting the 100,000 tree goal and the overall impact of the commitment, ensuring awareness and engagement among Encore and Thousand Trails customers and employees.
“Appreciating and enhancing the beauty of the outdoors is entrenched in our business and our philosophy,” said Pat Zamora, vice president of marketing for Thousand Trails and Encore. “Our customers are passionate outdoor enthusiasts who spend many hours enjoying the fresh air of camping. Working with American Forests is a natural fit and we’re thrilled to be able to support their ongoing sustainability efforts.”
“We’re excited to work with ELS whose customers value nature and understand the importance of preserving it,” said Jad Daley, president and CEO of American Forests. “In addition to the many benefits our natural landscapes provide to wildlife and our physical health, they also offer us adventure and serenity. At no time has that been more important than in the last year.”