The LA Giltinis are turning the symbolism of a single tree planted at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum into a reforestation effort for areas affected by last year’s Dixie Fire.
The rugby club’s five-win streak is magnifying the contributions the team is making off the field to communities in the Los Angeles area and more broadly across California.
A ceremonial tree planting outside the team’s home stadium at the Coliseum on April 15 was an ideal way to highlight the Giltinis’ commitment to sustainability.
Partnering with global reforestation charity One Tree Planted stretches far wider than the camphor tree planted at Gate 1.
The Giltinis have organised a Trees For Points campaign. A tree will be planted in a California reforestation project for every point scored by the club this season.
“We’re at 253 trees and growing,” said Todd Clever, the Giltinis’ Head of Strategic Partnerships.
“Most of all, this is about giving back to our community and the message of environmental awareness and sustainability.
“The fire season hit hard in 2021. We joined Major League Rugby as a start-up club in the same season and we feel it’s important to help make a difference off the field too.”
The Giltinis will be contributing a small forest with 253 points on the board and more in store over the final six rounds of the regular season.
The club has averaged a healthy 33 points per game during the winning streak heading into Saturday’s clash against Rugby ATL in Atlanta.
The project the club has chosen to support will contribute to restoration efforts following the devastating 2021 Dixie Fire. The Giltinis’ trees will help restore ecosystem habitats in a burn area impacted by severe and high-intensity wildfires.
For Clever, the project is indeed a strategic partnership of old friends. The most-capped USA Eagle of all-time in rugby has linked with fellow University of Nevada alum Chris Dickerson, a retired seven-season outfielder in Major League Baseball.
Dickerson is One Tree Planted’s Sports Sustainability Manager.
“We got our heads together on this and the Trees For Points idea. We want to be a club that keeps connecting with the community and encouraging more and more kids and parents to get interested in rugby,” Clever said.
“We hope the tree planted at the stadium will be there for decades to come just as the Giltinis will be working hard to be a Championship team over the decades to come.”
Giltinis Billy Meakes and Luke Burton manned the shovels to help with the ceremonial tree planting.
The Giltinis plan to share more information on the club’s sustainability efforts and work in local communities later in the season.
Please stay turned for details of the community tree-planting event and a One Tree Planted-themed Giltinis match.