Earth Day: Living Lands & Waters

It’s Earth Day and we are celebrating our partners who are going the extra mile for our planet and no one fits that description better than the awesome folks at Living Lands & Waters! Chad Pregracke, 2013 CNN Hero of the Year, and his crew and over 130,000 volunteers have removed over 13.2 MILLION pounds of trash from our waterways, educated nearly 28,000 students and they will plant their 2 MILLIONTH tree this spring!

On that note about the trees, the John Deere Classic is thrilled to be partnering with LL&W to donate 1,929 trees this spring, in conjunction with Earth Day. 1,929 was the number of Birdies scored at the 2023 John Deere Classic and we can’t wait to find these trees homes and get them growing! Living Lands & Water’s “Million Trees Project” started back in 2007. The trees have been planted in 25 different states so far. LL&W planted their 1 millionth tree back in 2016, out at the Riverdale schools in Port Byron, IL, where it continues to flourish today. In 2024, 170,000 trees were distributed and they are no plans to stop at 2,000,000! If you are interested in getting involved with the tree program, click here.

In addition to the Million Trees Project, the Living Lands & Waters crew is fresh off an amazing spring break run, where they teamed up with college students to clean America’s waterways in what they call, “Alternative Spring Break“. They bring students from across the country to McKeller Lake in Memphis, TN for 3 weeks. Students traverse on foot and in boats working alongside the crew at LL&W and live the barge life while making a difference, cleaning up waterways.

And because that’s not enough, the LL&W team is setting up a brand new Headquarters off the Mississippi River in East Moline at Beacon Harbor, which is where the new classroom barge will be docked as well. On the barge, they will be unveiling a new program called “Over the Levy” where the crew exposes youth to what life on the river could look like for them, sharing 30 different river-related career paths, from marine biology to canoe guides. And guess who they have the support of in this new endeavor? Everyone’s favorite dirty job guy – Mike Rowe! it should come as no surprise that Mike sees the value in what Chad and Co. are doing at LL&W, and we can’t wait to find new ways to partner and support the great work they are doing for our country and our community!

If you want to know how you can get involved, check out their website and volunteer opportunities here.

Stay tuned for more information on our Tree Donation project with Living Lands and Waters, and in the meantime, pick up that trash!