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Our Green History

From Conservation to Stewardship

In 1912, Camp Fire members were urged “to plant five trees at least one foot high where they are needed,” and to contribute service to the community in connection with “street cleaning,” “beautifying front yards,” “conservation of streams,” “conservation of trees or forests,” or “conservation of parks and playgrounds.”

By 1931, members were urged to:

  1. “Take active part in a tree-planting project (which means help planting a tree or trees, doing her share to care for tree or trees for nine months),”

  2. “Take active part in a wild flower conservation project (which means gathering seeds and replanting them), having a successful wild flower garden, refraining from ruthlessly picking wild flowers, making wild flower conservation posters.”

  3. “Help your Camp Fire transform an unsightly place in your community into an attractive spot, garden, park or playground, or help build a community fireplace.”

Camp Fire continued to make a difference across the country with ambitious projects that depended on broad community support.

By 1954, Camp Fire members in Witchita, Kansas identified ten varieties of reasonably pest- and drought-resistant trees and

By 1958, members had given out 20,000 seedlings and conducted a widespread and effective public education program.

By 1959, tree-planting continued to be a major emphasis and most councils conducted a tree census and tree planting projects.

By 1961, over 1,000,000 trees had been planted across the country by Camp Fire members. Some projects involved reforestation of vast acreage in burned-over or abandoned areas and camp grounds. Some center around replanting or landscaping all the school grounds in a district school system and a census and replacement of dead or diseased tree in an entire city.

Since that time, projects have continued to be at the heart of Camp Fire’s commitment to the environment and to their communities. Ponds have been freed of choking vegetation, cold water for trout supplied by deflector dams, chickens have hatched pheasant eggs which members then raised and returned to the state for restocking, and thousands and thousands of blue bird nesting boxes have been built and installed all over the country.

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