People of all ages and backgrounds from across the U.S. and Canada came together Wednesday to break the Guinness World Record for the most trees planted in one hour by small teams. Organized by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI), more than 200,000 trees were planted simultaneously in 28 different communities.

“It was such a pleasure to personally participate in this event, which brought communities together to break a world record for a wonderful cause. It was a great feeling to be planting trees knowing that at the very same moment my shovel broke into the earth to help make the world a greener place, other communities in Minnesota, New Brunswick, Pennsylvania, Ontario, Washington, British Columbia, New York, Quebec, and California were all doing the same thing to make a difference in the communities they serve,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI. “It was an experience that connected people and the earth on both a local and global level.”

The record attempt involved more than 1,100 participants, across four time zones, including industry representatives, community organizations, youth groups, conservation groups, and SFI Implementation Committees. Each team of 25 to 100 people planted trees simultaneously from 1:00 to 2:00 pm EDT, in locations ranging from New York City to Vancouver Island in British Columbia. One team of 100 people, led by SFI program participant J.D. Irving Limited even exceeded the existing record by planting 52,598 trees. The tree-planting initiative is but one example of SFI’s work to promote responsible forest management and sustainable communities.

SFI is an independent, non-profit organization that aims to make the world a better place by promoting sustainable forest management through standards, research, conservation partnerships and community building. SFI partners with organizations like Boy Scouts of America, Scouts Canada and Girl Guides of Canada to encourage kids to get outdoors and educate them about the importance of forests. SFI also has a presence at the local level through its grassroots network of SFI Implementation Committees, supporting Habitat for Humanity builds and projects to green urban areas. SFI works to ensure the health and future of our forests because forests are a part of our everyday lives. The work of SFI enhances the vital link that exists between healthy forests, environmental responsibility and sustainable communities.

Official confirmation from Guinness World Records is expected in 6-8 weeks from yesterday’s world record attempt. Teams participating in the world record attempt included American Forests, Atco Wood Products, Baltimore City Recreation and Parks’ TreeBaltimore, City of Sumner, Washington, Coopérative Forestière des Hautes-Laurentides, Domtar, Fornebu Lumber Company, Interfor, Island Timberlands, J.D. Irving Limited, Massey-Vanier High School, Norbord Barwick (in conjunction with local schools), Norbord (Groupement forestier cooperatif Abitibi, Sylviculture La Vérendrye, Forêt d’enseignement et de recherche Harricana), New York Restoration Project, Parks & People Foundation, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee, ReEnergy Holdings, Resolute Forest Products (the Haveman Team – Dog River Matawin Forest, the Outland Team – Black Spruce Forest, the Brinkman Team – Crossroute Forest), Minnesota SFI Implementation Committee, St. Louis County’s Land & Minerals Department, the Sugar Pine Foundation, TD Bank, Forests Ontario (with partners Michael’s Hair Body Mind and Credit Valley Conservation), UPM Blandin, and Williams Lake Plywood – West Fraser. Learn