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 ten years ago on Earth Day 2006.
“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 Andrea Koehle Jones, Executive Director of The Charitree Foundation. She says one of the best ways to learn about the environment is to plant, care for and watch a seedling grow. “Environmental education is about getting children outside, connecting with nature, their community and the world – and what can be more fun than that!”
The ChariTree Foundation is a registered Canadian charity rooted in a philosophy that kids need trees and more time to connect with nature. ChariTree has given thousands of trees to children across Canada and around the world through schools and children’s organizations. We also source the correct species for the region and ship trees at no cost to the schools, organizations, teachers and students. Right now, ChariTree is sourcing and shipping close to 20,000 seedlings to kids across Canada and we have more requests for trees for children than we can fill so please donate to Canada’s environmental education charity.
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
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. 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 Nature Inspiration Award finalist.
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 Red Mountain near Rossland and on a tree-topped island off the coast of Vancouver. She runs her children’s tree programs from a home office and travels often.
“There’s something so hopeful about planting trees,” said 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.