Memory in Nature: A Living, Lasting Legacy

Memory in Nature: A Living, Lasting Legacy

While Science Care is a program families choose at the end of their life, it doesn’t mean our program is about death. On the contrary, we believe our program is about life. When someone chooses to become a donor with Science Care, they are contributing to so many life-giving projects through medical research and education training programs.

Our team established the Memory in Nature program as a small way to honor the gift of donation. Each year, we plant a tree for every donor who has opted to support our program. The families receive a certificate around the one-year anniversary of their loved one’s death to commemorate the choice to donate their body to science with Science Care. We partner with the National Forest Foundation to plant trees in national forests throughout the country.

Why Trees?

Reforestation helps preserve public land and provide food and habitat for wildlife. In addition, trees provide oxygen, improving air quality and decreasing pollution. A one-year-old tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide and release oxygen in exchange. One large tree can produce a day’s supply of oxygen for 4 people. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.”

On top of the environmental benefits, trees have an incredible impact on our quality of life. Trees help produce oxygen, which helps us breathe better. When we breathe better, we tend to be more relaxed and less anxious. Spending time outdoors in nature can significantly and immediately reduce stress levels. Being near trees can improve amygdala integrity, which allows our brains to better handle stress. Looking at trees can calm our central nervous systems and have positive effects on our mood, depression, and overall self-esteem.  

Science Care is proud to help the earth and humanity heal through life-affirming action. The Memory in Nature program is a small way we honor the gift of donation to science and leave the world a better place for future generations. We’ve included information here on the most recent reforestation projects

U.S. National Forests (2022)

In 2022, in order to more broadly support the many forests that need help throughout the country, our saplings are not being planted in just one forest.  This means we aren’t provided the forest location that your loved one’s sapling was planted in directly.  

Kootenai National Forest (2021)

The Kootenai National Forest is a national forest located in the far northwestern section of Montana and the northeastern most lands in the Idaho panhandle in the United States, along the Canada–US border.

Western slope of the Colorado Rockies (2020)

The Western Slope is the part of the state of Colorado west of the Continental Divide. Bodies of water west of the Divide flow toward the Pacific Ocean; water that falls and flows east of the Divide heads east toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Gunnison National Forest (2019)

The Gunnison National Forest is a U.S. National Forest covering 1,672,136 acres in Mesa, Gunnison, Hinsdale and Saguache Counties in Western part of the U.S. state of Colorado.

San Juan National Forest (2018)

San Juan National Forest covers 1.8 million acres in the southwestern corner of Colorado. Terrain ranges from high-desert mesas to alpine peaks.  Several of Colorado’s famous “14’ers” (14,000 ft. peaks) can be found in the Weminuche and Lizard Head Wilderness Areas. Theodore Roosevelt created the forest by proclamation on June 3, 1905.

Lassen National Forest (2017)

The Lassen National Forest is one of 155 national forests across the United States and one of 18 national forests in California. Covering 1.2 million acres, it lies at the crossroads of the Modoc Plateau, the Great Basin, the Cascade Range, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains in northeast California.

Etoniah Creek State Forest – Florida (2016)

Reforestation of degraded sandhill sites on the Etoniah Creek State Forest is critical and has been an ongoing project since the late 1990’s when the State of Florida acquired this property as a state forest. Restoring longleaf pine to this site will allow for Wild turkey, white-tailed deer, quail, gray and fox squirrels, and other species endemic to the sandhill natural community type to flourish.

Clarion County – Pennsylvania (2015)

Arbor Day Foundation reforestation partnership with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Green Forests Work, the American Chestnut Foundation and the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative. The Appalachian region is home to some of the most diverse temperate forestland in the world, but past mining activities have left thousands of acres devoid of trees and suffering from compacted soils.

Pike National Forest – Colorado (2014)

Located on 3 million acres in central and southeast Colorado, the Pike & San Isabel National Forests offer a diverse landscape from short grass prairies to alpine tundra. The forest includes the Windy Ridge Bristlecone Pine Scenic Area, a grove of stunning, ancient bristlecone pine trees.

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