Plant Five for Life Founder, Christine Graziano, has been dedicated to the health of our environment since a young age and surrounded by family members in health and wellness careers.
In recent years, she has noted the growing concerns of friends in the pediatric field; observations that basic care-giving skills and nurture amongst parents, particularly for children in the most vulnerable developmental years of zero to five years of age, appear on the decline.
Tree canopy cover is also on the decline.
At the same time, Allegheny County is recording increases in childhood illnesses, including obesity, mental health, juvenile diabetes and asthma; areas which research shows can have root and remedy in connection with our outdoor environment.
Following a visit to a massive reforestation and community development project that aimed to right environmental injustice in Columbia, Christine returned inspired to find a scale-able solution to our local challenges.
Knowing firsthand how the planting and care of a tree and tending to its needs as it grows has many parallels with the care and needs of a young child; and how tree-planting can create a cascade of positive effects for the health and economy of a community, the Plant Five for Life project idea was born to bridge the gap.
The challenging, but rewarding steps of moving vision to action are now underway with the generous support and collaboration of many community members and organizations.