Rotary de Tolosa and Rotary Passport Clubs joined forces on February 5 to plant 15 live oak trees in the Terrace Hill Open Space in the City of San Luis Obispo. Rotary de Tolosa started the tree planting initiative to beautify open spaces, boost community enjoyment, and capture carbon.

Rotary de Tolosa seeks opportunities to work with additional Rotary Clubs and community partners to plant 100 trees per year for 10 years. At maturity the trees will have converted over 3200 tons of CO2 in the atmosphere to living carbon. Thus far, we’ve planted a total of 140 trees.

In each tree planting, we collaborate with local organizations. The planting on February 5 was with the Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo County (ECOSLO). It gained a grant from Cal Fire to purchase trees for restoration of urban forests and carbon capture. The grant includes provisions to convert trees at the end of their lives into furniture and, thereby, continue to keep the carbon from the atmosphere.

In addition to tree planting, we have two other climate action initiatives. We build simple bioreactors to enhance naturally occurring mycorrhizal fungi. These multiply the ability of trees and plants to convert CO2 into living carbon.

The third climate action initiative includes programs to help members reduce activities that produce greenhouse gases. With the combination of all three initiatives, we aspire to become a net carbon zero club and be a model for Rotary to contribute to a healthy climate for generations to come.