Meet the Founder
“I want to give children opportunities to fall in love with #nature in order to protect it.” – Andrea Koehle Jones, Founder, The ChariTree Foundation. “You protect what you love.”
Inspired by her children’s love of nature, journalist, children’s book author, and social entrepreneur Andrea Koehle Jones founded The ChariTree Foundation on Earth Day 2006. She runs the charity for free so all donations can go directly to kids learning to help the planet.
“If children are going to make a lifelong commitment to protect the environment for themselves and future generations, they first need time to explore the wonders of nature,” said Koehle Jones.
The ChariTree Foundation is a registered Canadian charity rooted in a philosophy that kids need trees and more time to connect with nature. ChariTree helps pay to send kids to amazing environmental education programs and has given thousands of children opportunities to plant trees across Canada and around the world through schools, camps and children’s organizations.
The trees children receive are called Wish Trees because when they plant their tree they get to make a wish for the world. Every time kids return to care for their tree or spend time with their tree they can make more wishes. Here are a few wishes from children who received Wish Trees:
“I wish I had super powers to save the earth and save people.” – Aiden, Hamilton, Ontario.
“I wish for a happy and healthy planet, so it can be there for generations to enjoy.” – Kiana, Toronto
“I wish kids everywhere will have the opportunity to plant trees just like me so we can make the world healthier together. Thank you so much to The ChariTree Foundation.” – Avery, Vancouver, BC
Andrea has a Masters degree in journalism and another degree in geography with a focus on international development. She has worked as a journalist for CBC Newsworld International and Newsworld in Toronto, Yellowknife and Vancouver as well as for various communications and environmental organizations. She was a communications strategist for Greenpeace during the campaign to save The Great Bear Rainforest. Andrea is a recipient of the Canadian Camping Association’s Award of Excellence for her environmental education program that gives trees to children at summer camps. She is also a 2015 Canadian Museum of Nature’s finalist for The Nature Inspiration Award.
Andrea is an award-winning documentary producer and author of the The Wish Trees. She also wrote the lyrics to the tree song My Persephone. A portion of profits from book and song sales are being donated to children’s tree projects.
Originally from Toronto, Andrea lives with her husband and two young children on a tree-topped island off the coast of Vancouver.
“There’s something so hopeful about planting trees,” said Koehle Jones. “I’ll never forget the children we planted trees with in Africa and I’ll never stop trying to bring more children trees.” WATCH YOUTUBE VIDEO: Children’s Tree Charity: A Wish Tree for Every Child.