Ann Arbor soccer club to plant three trees for every goal scored this season

This spring and summer, the AFC Ann Arbor soccer club will give back to the community by planting three trees for every goal it scores. The club will donate trees to Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation, planting a minimum of 200 trees as part of the city’s A2Zero campaign and ongoing bicentennial celebrations.

"We came up with the Goals for Trees initiative to really engage our supporters in the community," says AFC Ann Arbor co-owner Michal Lorenc. "We hope that our fans will be encouraged to follow the team throughout the season, and the city’s support of environmental causes plays well with our identity and what we want to stand for as a club."

Lorenc explains that tree planting is not a new endeavor for the club, which is nicknamed "The Mighty Oak." Within the club's first operating year in 2015 the club planted oak trees throughout Ann Arbor. Lorenc says Ann Arbor Parks and Rec will plant some of the trees at Bicentennial Park on Ellsworth Road as it is being renovated, and others will be given away to community members to plant.

"Ann Arbor’s Parks and Rec will give trees away to anyone in the community for free," Lorenc says. "They know best about what the needs are for where trees can be planted both purposefully and aesthetically."

The Goals for Trees initiative isn't AFC Ann Arbor's only green-friendly goal for this season. Lorenc highlights the team’s ongoing effort to go entirely plastic-free and use only aluminum and recyclable cans for water and sports drinks.

"Combining soccer with a worthwhile cause at almost every one of our home games is our goal this season," Lorenc says. 

The Mighty Oak's 2024 season kicked off on May 11 and will run through July 12. To see the team’s full schedule or to learn more about the Goals for Trees initiative, visit the club's website or Facebook page.

"Soccer is a universal sport. It’s a global game that has historically united people," Lorenc says. "Bringing people together is both our vision for our club and for our community."

Rylee Barnsdale is a Michigan native and longtime Washtenaw County resident. She wants to use her journalistic experience from her time at Eastern Michigan University writing for the Eastern Echo to tell the stories of Washtenaw County residents that need to be heard.

Photo by Josh Boland.
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