Stihl Inc. recently announced the winners of the 2022 Hearts of Stihl program, an initiative to care for the environment through the preservation of our nation’s state parks. The 2022 Hearts of Stihl winners, representing the nation’s six state park regions, have each been awarded a $20,000 grant to help fund sustainability, recovery, conservation or environmental education programs.
The recipients of the Hearts of Stihl grants by region and some examples of how they will use their grants are as follows:
• Northeast – Roxbury Heritage State Park – Massachusetts
Stewardship Corps after-school program, 8-week high/middle school program
• Southeast – Chewacla State Park – Alabama
Partnership with the City of Auburn and Auburn University College of Forestry Wildlife and Environment for non-native invasive species removal
• Central – Inks Lake State Park – Texas
Storm damaged and diseased tree replacement, native tree planting, eco-system maintenance
• North Central – Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park – Kentucky
Tornado recovery, trail recovery and enhancement, equipment and material purchase
• Northwest – Wyoming State Parks – Wyoming
Installation of pollinator demonstration gardens at five Wyoming state parks
• Southwest – Spooner Lake State Park – Nevada
Improved biomass disposal, purchase of portable mill and wood kiln
“The Hearts of Stihl program was established to support America’s State Parks Foundation and its efforts to protect and enhance these national treasures,” said Roger Phelps, Stihl Inc. corporate communications manager. “All of us at Stihl look forward to working with the parks and park personnel on these projects.”
The awarded grants will be managed by America’s State Parks Foundation, ensuring that all funding will support environmental efforts and educational programming. More than 25 parks applied for the grant, with a broad variety of funding and support needs. “Selecting our final recipients was difficult,” said Phelps. “There were so many worthy projects, but in the end, we selected those that we felt would provide the greatest benefit to their communities and visitors to the parks.”
“America’s State Parks have had record levels of visitation across the country this year. The continued support of Stihl Inc. with this new Hearts of Stihl program will give our visitors increased enjoyment and understanding of conservation and the value of preserving the state park treasures for the future,” said Lewis Ledford, executive director at the National Association of State Parks Directors.
The Hearts of Stihl program expands Stihl’s relationship with America’s State Parks. For more than a decade, Stihl has been a sponsor of the National Association of State Park Directors Leadership School, providing scholarships for park personnel to attend.
The 2021 Hearts of Stihl program focused on planting 2,021 trees in two western state parks in response to the devastating effects of the 2020 wildfires. The project was a true partnership and included men and women of the Oregon and California state parks, professional arborist and Stihl Inc. spokesperson Mark Chisholm providing hazardous tree felling and training, Director of Conservation for the MeatEater group Ryan Callaghan and musical director for the Rolling Stones Chuck Leavell, who is also an award-winning tree farmer, conservationist and producer of the PBS television program “America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell.”