Registration is now open for the STIHL Tour des Trees, an annual weeklong cycling event that travels hundreds of miles through a different region of North America each year. The event, which is America’s largest fundraiser for tree research, benefits the Tree Research & Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund). Every Tour includes tree plantings, educational programs and community engagement activities in addition to spectacular scenery, bucket-list cycling and a level of camaraderie that sets this ride apart from other charity fundraisers.
This year’s STIHL Tour des Trees will traverse Wisconsin from July 27-Aug. 2, 2014, and will include stops in Madison, Door County, Green Bay and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The University’s arboriculture and urban forestry curriculum is one of the nation’s best, and noted researcher (and TREE Fund grant recipient) Dr. Richard Hauer will be a featured speaker at dinner in Stevens Point. The Tour concludes Aug. 2 on the campus of Mount Mary University during the International Society of Arboriculture’s International Tree Climbing Championship. Featured in Forbes, the Huffington Post, and CNN, recent Tours have cycled through Canada, New York, Virginia and Oregon, educating the public about the importance of urban trees and planting dozens more along the way.
“Riding in the STIHL Tour des Trees gives me the opportunity to educate, inspire, and change communities across the U.S. It is an exciting week spent doing something for kids, trees and myself,” said Justin Espy, a field testing technician at STIHL Inc., certified arborist and two-time Tour rider. Cyclists come from a variety of professions and include arborists, educators, entrepreneurs, accountants and tree enthusiasts from all over the world.
Registration for the full Tour is limited to 100 cyclists and often sells out early. Each full-Tour cyclist commits to raising $3,500 for the TREE Fund, and the $100 registration fee includes lodging and meals as well as a custom apparel kit and full mechanical and rider support for the entire week. A partial-Tour registration option with a prorated fundraising requirement is also available.
Since 1992, the Tour has raised more than $6.6 million for tree research and education programs, making possible more than 400 TREE Fund research grants focused on arboriculture and urban forestry and the safety of the tree care workforce since 1976, along with scholarships for college students across the country.