Nonprofit breaks ground on Temple Beth El preserve in south Fort Myers

An environmental nonprofit’s mission took the brunt of American tariffs placed on Chinese exports last month. The organization’s goal to plant as many trees as possible also involves a tote bag initiative with bags that are produced in China. But the nonprofit didn’t let increased prices uproot its mission, as it broke ground on a new preserve this weekend.

OneTree.org was able to fulfill its “Totes for the Trees” initiative with community support, giving out tote bags to donors at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new six-acre preserve and garden behind Temple Beth-El in south Fort Myers Sunday.

“The travesty is … we’re such a small organization,” OneTree.org founder Will Revehel said. “We’re asking a small pool of people to help with these tariffs. Tariffs don’t plant trees.”

Still, with the temple project, the goal is to establish a temple preserve and memorial garden. The land also stands as one of the last remaining tropical hammocks between Summerlin Road and Hendry Creek.

The nonprofit promises every $12 tote bag bought by a donor will help plant a tree.

MORE: Fort Myers tree planting organization takes hard hit from China tariffs

Reporter:Nicole Gabe
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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