Give a Lasting Gift

Need birthday, memorial or other special-occasion gift? Give trees in your friends', co-workers' and family members' names! These funds purchase extra trees for clubs planting on public lands. Each seedling is tax-deductible and costs only $5. So far 284 trees and native shrubs have been donated.

Show Off Our Clubs' Work to the World!

District 5400 is creating a video celebrating our efforts. We are asking you take pictures and short video clips of a few of your volunteers telling why they are planting trees. It’s easy. We’ll do all the editing.  You can use the final product to promote your club’s good work.
What is involved?
If your club has chosen to work with District 5400:
  • Collect the equivalent of $5 per club member and send to Rotary District 5400 Charitable Programs, Inc.
  • Coordinate planting spot, date and volunteers. See Planting Status  to the right for some easy options.
If your club has chosen to plant your own trees:
You will be responsible for reporting on your club’s tree planting location, purchase, and event details. These results are to be given to Rotary International.

RI Global Tree Efforts

Consider attending or following Rotary International’s Presidential Peacebuilding Conference 2018: Environmental Sustainability, and Peace, 9-11 February 2018 in Vancouver, Canada. It’s so close to Idaho! Contact Larry Hands at for more details. Click here for more information on RI tree planting efforts. 
“I want to rise up to President Ian Riseley’s challenge, where he has asked every Rotarian to plant a tree to reduce our carbon footprint.”
— Jennifer Deroin, Rotary District 5400 Governor-Elect

As spring arrives in Idaho, it’s impossible not to notice the beautiful flowers that brighten our landscapes.  Flowering trees are particularly gorgeous, offering vibrant colors while the rest of the landscape is just waking up.  Starting in March, you’ll notice the pinks & whites of plums & cherry trees. By April you’ll see crabapples, ornamental pears, & redbuds in bloom.  And by May & June, some of the late bloomers like tulip trees & catalpas will be putting on their show of color.
While flowering trees have a lot to offer a residential or commercial landscape, they’re not without their issues.  When in bloom, these trees may attract bees & other insects. This is great, of course, but it may be best to plant these trees away from high traffic areas.  As the blooming winds down, falling petals can leave quite a mess for a few weeks, requiring additional cleanup. And some varieties may develop fruit later in the season, even those that are considered “non-fruiting.”  Crabapples, hawthorns, & ornamental pears can be particularly messy when fruit falls on surrounding walkways, patios, or vehicles. For these reasons & others, it may be best to plant these gorgeous trees in an ornamental bed where they can offer their beauty without the nuisance of falling petals or fruits.

As with any tree, do your research, consult a professional, & put the “right tree in the right spot.”  This can save you a lot of hassle down the road.

By Kevin Allen

Blue Lakes Twin Falls Rotary Club Graces the Dennis Boyer Park with Trees 

Bobbi Pyle, president of the Blue Lakes Twin Falls Rotary Club, took her family camping and fishing and sat under shady trees to read as they camped.  The reader will no doubt remember their experiences in Idaho’s beautiful landscape, perhaps with a book in hand under a shade tree. My personal memory is camping in the Sawtooths on a beautiful fall day under the shade of pine trees while I read a book and enjoyed the stillness.  Suddenly, I heard a loud splash across the small wilderness lake. Looking up, I saw an elk and her calf enter the water and swim to my side of the lake. I have a wonderful memory of green pines trees edging the lake and beautiful animals in the water.

Trees may mean a tree house!  Bobbi had one for her boys! What wonderful memories the combination of a tree and a tree house engenders in anyone who has experienced this delight.  The reader may be reflecting right now about their own tree house or a picnic under a tree with friends and family.

The Blue Lakes Rotary Club members responded enthusiastically to RI President Ian Riseley’s challenge to plant trees.  First, the members planted trees in their yards. Then, the club members gathered at the Dennis Bowyer Park in Twin Falls with trees and shovels and jumped into action.  They used money from a District 5400 matching grant to purchase the trees. Happy times for the club. Look at the pictures Bobbi had sent and decide for yourself if the members have performed a great deed for the city.

Your club can participate in Ian Riseley’s request just as has the Blue Lakes Rotary Club of Twin Falls.

By the way, the Blue Lakes TF Rotary Club meets at 7 a.m. every Tuesday.  Their motto? “Early to Rise, Eager to Serve.”

By PDG Terry Gilbert

Kevin Allen, Boise

Kevin Allen was co-owner of Pro Care Landscape Services for over 20 years.  He has been an ISA Certified Arborist for two decades & an ISDA Professional Applicator.  Kevin has served on the Idaho Nursery & Florist Advisory Committee, City of Boise Community Forestry Strategic Management Planning Committee, Idaho State Department of Agriculture Japanese Beetle Project, & many others.  He has been responsible for thousands of trees, from selection to installation to care & maintenance.  He loves returning to trees he planted early in his career to see how big they’ve grown.  His favorite trees are crabapples in the spring, tulip trees in the summer, & sweetgums, sugar maples, & autumn purple ash in the fall.


Robert Pitman

Robert Pitman has worked as a Horticultural Assistant for the Bannock county Extension Office for the last 11 years.  He also has 12 years experience working in retail nurseries and on a tree farm.  Robert also taught Horticulture for 5 years at Eastern Idaho Technical College.


Laurie Zuckerman, Boise

Laurie has an eclectic background. She’s studied civil engineering, ministry, and education; home-schooled and taught in the public schools; built and run a small farm; and organized several offices. She currently works for Idaho Public Television and volunteers for Rotary and Citizens Climate Education

Terry Gilbert, Boise

Terry served as District 5400 Governor in 2010-11, culminating over twenty years of volunteer work and travel for Rotary in Singapore, Barcelona, Chicago, Indianapolis and Montreal. Terry is a long-time public school educator, starting in 1967 teaching English and History in Marsing. He served as the elected president of the Idaho Education Association in 1977-78 followed by various director roles from 1983-2007


Michela Swarthout, Boise Metro

Michela is the ’18-’19 Secretary for Boise Metro Rotary club, the current Public Image Chair for District 5400 and will be teaching interactive workshops on Clubrunner, social media, club collaboration tools and content creation in our upcoming district conferences. Her primary expertise and passion is digital user experience, proper brand messaging and graphic design. In her civilian life, she's a Product Manager and Business Analyst for a suite of software products who offers free graphic design services for nonprofits when time allows, which unfortunately isn’t much lately as she's started a few businesses in 2018.


Charlie Creason, Assistant Governor for District E2

Charlie Creason, a life-long resident of Rupert, Idaho, played with a group of youth in “Bum’s Jungle,” a copse of trees providing an alluring and mysterious name to a campground used by Depression-era “train-hoppers,” as Charlie describes them.  Creason has a history with trees.  When RI president Ian Riseley challenged Rotarians to plant 1.25 million trees worldwide – one per member --  he and the City of Rupert were ready. Why is Charlie enthusiastic about this Rotary International project?  “It’s a good way for us to do something locally and internationally,” Creason explains. 
Tree Challenge Brochure - Share With Your Club!
Pledges to Date
Clubs: 27 of 44
Trees: 1,208 of 2,000
Coordinator Status
Clubs with Tree Project Coordinators: Baker City, Blue Lakes, Boise, Boise Centennial, Boise East, Boise Metro, Boise Southwest, Boise Sunrise, Buhl, Canyon County Sunrise, Elmore County/Mountain Home, Emmett, Gooding, Hailey, Idaho Falls, McCall/Payette Lakes, Meridian, Montpelier, Nampa, Pocatello, Preston, Rupert, Twin Falls, Twin Falls After Hours
Clubs Needing Tree Project Coordinators: Aberdeen, American Falls, Ashton, Blackfoot, Burley, Caldwell, East Idaho Falls, Eagle/Garden City, Jerome, Ketchum-Sun Valley, Pocatello-Centennial, Pocatello-Gate City, Pocatello-Portneuf, Rexburg, Rigby, Salmon, St. Anthony, Soda Springs, Western Treasure Valley
Planting Area Status
Clubs with Locations to Plant: Baker City, Blue Lakes, Boise, Boise Centennial, Boise East, Boise Metro, Boise Southwest, Boise Sunrise, Buhl, Canyon County Sunrise, Eagle/Garden City, Elmore County/Mountain Home, Emmett, Gooding, Idaho Falls, McCall/Payette Lakes, Meridian, Montpelier, Nampa, Pocatello, Preston, Rupert, Soda Springs, Twin Falls, Twin Falls After Hours
Clubs Needing Locations to Plant: Aberdeen, American Falls, Ashton, Blackfoot, Burley, Caldwell, East Idaho Falls, Hailey, Jerome, Ketchum-Sun Valley, Pocatello-Centennial, Pocatello-Gate City, Pocatello-Portneuf, Rexburg, Rigby, Salmon, St. Anthony, Western Treasure Valley
Southern Idaho Clubs: Bruneau Dunes State Park needs 60 trees and shrubs and 3 Island Crossing State Park needs 90 trees and shrubs. Could you help them?
Fundraising Status
Clubs Who Completed Fundraising: Twin Falls, Boise Centennial, Boise Metro
Clubs Doing Their Own Thing: Blue Lakes Rotary, Emmett, Gooding, Idaho Falls
Clubs Working on Raising Funds: Aberdeen, American Falls, Ashton, Baker City, Blackfoot, Boise East, Boise, Boise Sunrise, Buhl, Burley, Caldwell, Canyon County Sunrise, Eagle-Garden City, East Idaho Falls, Elmore County-Mountain Home, Emmett, Hailey, Jerome, Ketchum-Sun Valley, McCall-Payette Lakes, Meridian, Montpelier, Nampa, Pocatello, Pocatello-Centennial, Pocatello-Gate City, Pocatello-Portneuf, Preston, Rupert, Salmon, Soda Springs, St Anthony, Rexburg, Rigby, Twin Falls-After Hours