Since 2007 more than 1.5 million U-Haul customers have elected to support The Conservation Fund during their rental transactions. To date, 358,000 trees have been planted and certified to trap 441,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the next 100 years, while an additional 317,000 trees have been planted in areas with a high need for restoration—that's a total of 675,000 trees planted across the country since 2007. Through this tree planting partnership, 1,800 acres have been restored and 9 national wildlife refuges served. 

The impact of that support continues to grow.   At a glance….

Santee National Wildlife Refuge – South Carolina


Photo Credit: John S. Quarterman/Flickr

Santee National Wildlife Refuge encompasses approximately 13,000 acres, including 39 miles of shoreline along the banks of Lake Marion, and serves as the southernmost migration point in the Atlantic Flyway.

Project Type: Tree Planting
Partners: The Conservation Fund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U-Haul Customer Donation Impacts: 149,401 trees planted across 411 acres. Longleaf pine trees have been planted through U-Haul customer donations. Longleaf pines are resistant to fire and beetle infestation, thrive in wet and dry periods, and can withstand hurricane-force winds, increasing the likelihood that the trees will live to an old age. In fact, longleaf pines can live 150 years or more. In some cases, they can even live up to 450 years.
Benefits: This project has benefited a range of wildlife, including ducks and geese, neo-tropical migratory birds, raptors, shore birds and wading birds, as well as endangered/threatened species such as the American alligator and wood stork.
Learn More: Santee National Wildlife Refuge  

Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge – Maryland


Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

Located at the confluence of the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay, Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge is a 2,285-acre island that hosts over 240 bird species, including tundra swan and bald eagle.

Project Type: Tree Planting
Partners: The Conservation Fund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U-Haul Customer Donation Impacts: 12,500 trees across 23 acres. Donations have supported the planting of white oak, loblolly, willow oak, maple and sycamore trees.
Benefits: These trees have provided food and shelter for the thousands of migrating birds and ducks that flock to Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge every winter to feast on acorns, seeds, and small bugs.
Learn More: Press ReleaseMy U-Haul Story

Lower Rio Grande Region – Texas

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Photo Credit: The Conservation Fund 

As one of three national wildlife refuges where U-Haul customer donations make an impact in the Lower Rio Grande, the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge is located deep in the Rio Grande Valley at the southeastern tip of Texas along the Rio Grande River and the Gulf of Mexico. The 97,000-acre wildlife refuge was established in 1946 to provide habitat for wintering waterfowl and migratory birds. Today, Laguna Atascosa is a world-renowned birding destination, boasting more recorded bird species than any other refuge in the entire United States National Wildlife Refuge System. But Laguna Atascosa is special for more than just its bird count. It also is home to one of the two remaining ocelot populations in the nation, making it integral for conservation and recovery efforts for these endangered cats.

Project Type:
Tree Planting
Partners: The Conservation Fund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U-Haul Customer Donation Impacts: Customer donations have resulted in the planting of 154,806 native trees across 196 acres at Laguna Atascosa and Lower Rio Grande national wildlife refuges.
Benefits: A variety of wildlife including bird species and ocelot have benefited through this tree planting recovery effort.
Learn More: Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge

Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuge & Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge – Louisiana


Photo Credit: The Conservation Fund

High above the Lake Ophelia and Grand Cote national wildlife refuges in central Louisiana, hundreds of thousands of birds quack and honk their way from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico and back. Known as the Mississippi Flyway, this blue migratory highway in the sky services millions of ducks, geese, shorebirds, blackbirds, sparrows, warblers and thrushes.

Project Type: Reforestation with Climate Benefits
Partners: The Conservation Fund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U-Haul Customer Donation Impacts: 26,017 trees across 86 acres (Lake Ophelia) and 27,240 trees across 90 acres (Grand Cote). Oak, pecan and cypress trees have been planted across these national wildlife refuges with supporting customer donations. Over their lifetime, these forests will trap an estimated 57,666 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Benefits: Restored forests improve habitat for wildlife, including eagles, ducks, geese, shorebirds, blackbirds, sparrows, warblers and thrushes, as well as the Louisiana black bear.
Learn More:  Lake Ophelia and Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuges

Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge – Kansas


Photo Credit: Jane LeMunyon Photography

Located 70 miles south of Kansas City along the border of Kansas and Missouri, much of the land at the Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge was overly degraded after decades of farming to support habitat for wildlife. Now that the forest is restored, it will be managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for migratory birds, including the yellow-breasted chat and the indigo bunting, and will be open to the public for wildlife-dependent recreational uses.

Project Type: Reforestation with Climate Benefits
Partners: The Conservation Fund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U-Haul Customer Donation Impacts: 29,733 pecan, oak, walnut, sycamore, ash, hickory and maple trees planted across 98 acres. Over its lifetime, this forest will trap an estimated 32,883 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Benefits:  Bird species, including yellow-breasted chat and indigo bunting, fish, freshwater mussels, furbearers and game species have benefited from this reforestation.
Learn More: Marais Des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge Program

Mingo National Wildlife Refuge – Missouri


Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

When settlers first came to Missouri’s Bootheel region, lush bottomland hardwood forests, including giant cypress and tupelo trees, blanketed the south eastern corner of the state. Over the past century, the forests were harvested for lumber, and by the 1930s, most of the land was cleared and the swamplands were drained. Mingo National Wildlife Refuge protects the largest remaining bottomland hardwood forest in south eastern Missouri. 

Project Type: Reforestation with Climate Benefits
Partners: The Conservation Fund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U-Haul Customer Donation Impacts: 3,638 trees across 12 acres. Customer donations have helped restore walnut, hickory, oak and cypress trees. Over its lifetime, this forest will trap an estimated 3,939 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Benefits: Reforestation at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge has benefited wildlife, including deer, waterfowl, squirrels, turkeys, fox and bear.
Learn More: Mingo National Wildlife Refuge

Red River National Wildlife Refuge – Louisiana


Photo Credit: Don Mace/Dreamstime

With its roots high in the Texas Panhandle, two forks of the Red River confluence at the Texas-Oklahoma border to flow 1,300 miles through Louisiana and into the Mississippi River and eventually the Gulf of Mexico.

Project Type: Reforestation with Climate Benefits
Partners: The Conservation Fund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U-Haul Customer Donation Impacts: 138,436 trees across 458 acres. Customer donations have supported the planting of cypress, oak and hickory trees. Over its lifetime, this forest will trap an estimated 149,472 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Benefits: 80,000 waterfowl utilize the refuge for feeding and resting annually, and more than 200 species of neo-tropical migratory song birds seek refuge here.
Learn More: Red River National Wildlife Refuge

Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge – Louisiana


Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Louisiana’s Ouachita River starts just 20 miles north of Monroe and stretches 42,500 acres north over the Lower Mississippi River Valley. It is the defining feature of the region and the Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge, which preserves wetlands and homes for migratory birds.

Project Type: Reforestation with Climate Benefits
Partners: The Conservation Fund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U-Haul Customer Donation Impacts: 133,072 trees across 441 acres. Hickory, oak and cypress tree seedlings have been planted through customer donations supporting this project. Over its lifetime, this forest will trap an estimated 120,974 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Benefits: Restoration of the Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge has benefited wildlife, including deer, turkey, alligator, bald eagle, the Louisiana black bear and 265 species of migratory birds.
Learn More: Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge


Reforestation projects across the United States benefit climate, water and air quality, wildlife habitat and flood prevention.

“We celebrate and thank the more than one million U-Haul customers who have made a significant and lasting difference on the ground,” said Jena Thompson Meredith, Vice President of Business Partnerships at The Conservation Fund. “Every tree we’ve planted and each acre of forestland we’ve protected with these donations are gifts to the planet and people everywhere, made possible by more than one million champions of conservation at checkout.  We simply could not have done it without them.”

21,000 U-Haul locations participate in the effort, and every dollar collected by U-Haul goes directly to The Conservation Fund.

“Since 2007, our partnership with U-Haul has served as a model for corporate social responsibility programs aimed at engaging customers and inspiring employees, and it’s rooted in a continued commitment by U-Haul and its customers to conservation and community,” added Meredith.  “Three cheers to every U-Haul customer and employee who has made a difference. We can’t wait to realize the positive impacts over the next several years.”

To learn more about The Conservation Fund U-Haul partnership, click here.

Photos and information provided by The Conservation Fund.

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