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August 11, 2016

If trees could talk…

Ever wish you could befriend a tree? Well, through the marvels of nature, community, and technology, now you can! When someone plants a Friendship Forest tree, they're not just helping to create a future forest, they're beginning a beautiful friendship. Friendship foresters and their new leafy friends can maintain a dialogue in the years ahead as the tree grows and develops.

Friendship Forest Logo

Each Friendship Forest begins with a party. Planting parties involve parades, live bands, food and other fun, making the experience a great outing and educational experience for children and whole families. Foresters give their tree a name which is then recorded, along with an I.D. number, on a special tag. Forget where a particular leafy buddy lives? Look 'em up on the handy interactive map via the Friendship Forest website. Families can return to visit their tree at any time. Hugging and nurturing the tree bestie is encouraged.

And Friendship Forest trees and their busy human pals can also keep in touch via social media and email. Yes, really! Trees will send updates about how they are doing via email, and their human friend, in turn, can send it well wishes and notes, and share pics.

And, as part of the project, the trees and their pals are helping scientists study variables and aspects of each forest to learn how to improve urban forest plantings and increase the viability. They are testing varieties of trees, the planting tubes, how much care and love they receive, etc.

Friendship Forest Tree Tags
Friendship Forest Website

The Friendship Forest is about caring for communities, caring for each other and breaking down barriers by uniting residents in the act of growing happiness. The whimsical logo, website and collateral pieces are designed to be casual and approachable with a DIY feel. They are welcoming and celebrate connections, nature, community and friendships. One of the young artists associated with the project, Julie Benda, contributed cut paper tree illustrations, and we leapt off from there. The layered cut and torn paper, vintage engravings, hand-done type and warm, earthy palette all contribute to an optimistic, natural, inviting feel, suggesting the organic way relationships and experiences happen and grow.

Friendship Forest T-shirts

This Is Folly designed the Friendship Forest logo. We also designed the website, t-shirt design, and tree tags that identify each tree and their human friends. The merry band of Forest Friendlies extended the concept and brought the Friendship Forest to life with social media posts and other elements. The first Friendship Forest planting in Saint Paul Minnesota included fun pennant flags and a parade, tree skirts, and even tree cookies.

Friendship Forest Saint Paul Planting Party
Friendship Forest Saint Paul Planting Party Parade
Friendship Forest Saint Paul Planting
Friendship Forest Saint Paul Tree Tag
Saint Paul Friendship Forest Planted!
View the full project here.


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