A Howell woman is heading out on a long distance fundraising cycling adventure today.

This marks the 6th year that Julie Stachecki of Howell is taking part in the Tour des Trees - a fundraising event that has been happening for 24 years and usually involves between 85 to 100 riders that raise $3,500 each. She says all of the money raised goes toward the cause and the tour is held in different areas every year. Riders cycle through various communities in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., planting trees, educating children and shining a light on the work done by arboriculture professionals and the importance of science-based tree care. The Tour serves as the primary public outreach and community engagement event for the Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund). A kick-off dinner was held Sunday and riders will roll out of Nashville, Tennessee this morning. The course is a 450-mile loop through western Kentucky and then back down to Nashville with designated stops along the way. Support vehicles and mechanics also take part in the ride, and daily mileage ranges between 55 and 110 mile.

Stachecki is a certified arborist and president of the Michigan Arboriculture Society. She tells WHMI they all believe strongly in the mission and cause, which is to generate funds for research in tree related topics. Stachecki says that involves urban forestry concerns and issues and other things related to climate change but they also support education in their fields of arbor culture and urban forestry. She says research from funding to the organization is the foundation for many of their best management practices. Strachecki says they’re advocating for the value and benefits of trees in local communities and will do a lot of tree plantings and educational events along the course. She says they’ll have stops related to the tree care industry in some capacity and during the evenings throughout the week, they’ll have some of the researchers that have benefited from past funding present their findings to them.

For more information or to donate, visit the provided web link. (JM)