Through our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation®, Clayton is helping build a better tomorrow for people and the planet we call home.
Recognizing that forests are vital to the long-term sustainability of our planet and understanding our responsibility as global citizens, Clayton and the Arbor Day Foundation launched an important partnership to plant trees in forests of great need. These large-scale reforestation projects are taking place in strategic locations to help restore vital ecosystems and foster meaningful ecological benefits. The impacts of these reforestation efforts will lead to cleaner water, improved air quality and help to foster biodiversity for years to come.
In partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, Clayton committed to plant 4.47 million trees by 2025. The partnership is planting the majority of these trees on either public land, private conservation easements or in forests managed by a non-governmental organization (NGO).
In 2023, 1.19 million trees will be planted in the following project areas:
-Longan Spring Preserve: Five decades ago, the land that is now the Longan Springs Preserve was clearcut and converted for agricultural use. Replanting efforts here will reestablish native forest cover throughout the floodplain. This work will ensure healthier watershed function, improve water quality in area waterways, and restore riparian habitat for area wildlife — including the wood thrush, American woodcock and northern bobwhite.
-Dixon Memorial State Forest: Developing and managing a healthy and sustainable tree canopy is important for the Dixon Memorial State Forest. Tree planting efforts will focus on enhancing the native ecosystem while also replacing a portion of trees that succumbed to drought. This work will provide soil stability, improve water quality, enrich recreational forest use, and support a number of wildlife species including the gopher tortoise and the Florida black bear.
-Lake Seminole: Lake Seminole is a recreational hotspot in the southwest corner of Georgia managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In the wake of Hurricane Michael, 77% of the tree canopy surrounding the reservoir was lost. Replanting efforts are ongoing, and more work is needed to help the land recover. The trees planted will restore healthy watershed function, improve wildlife habitat and diversity, and support recreational opportunities.
-Floodwood State Forest: Managed by the Idaho Department of Lands, Floodwood State Forest is an endowment forest designed to offer all the environmental benefits of forest cover while providing a long-term financial return for Idaho’s public schools. Unfortunately, wildfires devastated sections of this forest in 2021. Tree planting efforts are greatly needed to restore the tree canopy, improve watershed health, provide cover and foraging opportunities for big game, support aquatic life in area streams, and supply future funding for the Idaho Public Schools endowment.
-Michigan State Forest: Together with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, we are striving to replant Michigan’s forestlands on a large scale. This project will replant stands of native jack and red pines in state and nearby national forests. And as the forests mature, they will provide a wide variety of ecosystem services. These trees also mean improved habitat for a wide variety of wildlife including deer, turkey, grouse, and — most notably — the Kirtland’s warbler.
-Chippewa National Forest: Chippewa National Forest has faced many issues in recent history, including strong wind events, insects, and disease. The result is an acute need for reforestation. Replanting efforts will reestablish native tree species, provide essential habitat for area wildlife including the American bald eagle, and improve forest stand resilience to climate change.
-Van Swamp Game Land: Van Swamp Game Land has been designated as a Dedicated Nature Preserve, and work is underway to help reestablish loblolly pine forest cover in this area. Planting efforts will focus on restoring the landscape with a high-quality, biologically diverse ecosystem. These new trees will ensure age diversity within the forest stands, provide healthy and varied wildlife habitats, and improve aesthetics and recreational opportunities.
-Longleaf Pine Restoration: Longleaf pine, once the dominant tree species in the South, has now dwindled to cover only small patches of land. The loss of the ecosystem has been devastating to the nearly 600 animal and plant species that depend on it. Efforts are underway to restore longleaf pine forests primarily on private lands throughout the region, with tree planting planned on 72 different tracts of land in South Carolina. This work will reduce forest fragmentation and help protect endangered and threatened wildlife including the red-cockaded woodpecker, indigo snake, and gopher tortoise.
-Shortleaf Pine Restoration: Neches Conservation Lands: Private lands in areas of Texas and Louisiana are being actively managed to maintain open pine forest conditions and restore the native shortleaf pine ecosystem. The goal of planting efforts here is to plant shortleaf pine trees and reestablish nature’s balance, improving habitat for a variety of wildlife — particularly wild turkey — while creating a more resilient tree canopy for the future.
-Washington Department of Natural Resources Managed Forests: The forests of the Pacific Northwest are known for their vast, dense tree canopy as well as their striking beauty. But a combination of past forestry management practices, disease, and insect infestations have left some of Washington’s public lands in need of restoration. Through a partnership with the Washington Department of Natural Resources, replanting efforts are focused on providing forest resiliency for areas affected by disease and insect damage, improving habitat for the endangered northern spotted owl, and ensuring healthy and diverse mixed-species tree stands for years to come.
-Clark County Forest: The Clark County Forest covers nearly 135,000 acres — a thriving, biodiverse ecosystem home to hundreds of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and insects. Reforestation efforts in the forest will lead to new stands of jack and red pine trees that will support ongoing sustainable forest management. These trees will also provide critical habitat for wildlife such as northern goshawks and big brown bats.
The partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation is part of Clayton’s purpose of opening doors to a better life, which extends beyond the homes we build to the planet we call home. Our commitment to a sustainable future includes responsible building practices, impactful philanthropic partnerships, paid time off for team member volunteer opportunities and leaving a legacy of environmental stewardship.
Learn more about Clayton's social responsibility efforts at Claytonhomes.com/social-responsibility.
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