NEWS: Sempervirens Fund Establishes GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® Title with #HugATreeChallenge
593 people from around the world uploaded photos of themselves hugging a tree to Instagram in an hour to set the record; check out all the photos on Instagram.
San Mateo, Calif. (April 25, 2022) — Sempervirens Fund, California’s first land trust, officially established a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title today for the most photos of people hugging trees uploaded to Instagram in one hour. With the official count complete, 593 people participated in the #HugATreeChallenge and uploaded photos of someone hugging a tree to celebrate Earth Day and show their love for trees around the globe.
“Congratulations on achieving the new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title for most people hugging trees uploaded to Instagram in one hour. We are delighted we could be part of this official record event,” said GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS official adjudicator Michael Empric.
“We are so grateful to our friends and supporters for showing their love for trees on this Earth Day and for helping establish a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title with the #HugATreeChallenge,” said Sempervirens Fund Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Matthew Shaffer. “The outpouring of support during #HugATreeChallenge shows that people both love trees and understand the uncertainty they face as the impacts of climate change continue to produce extreme and dangerous weather and wildfires. Sempervirens Fund stands at the ready as we prepare for a potentially catastrophic wildfire season, and we’re so glad that so many of you stand with us.”
The #HugATreeChallenge was presented by REI Co-op, which is making a $10,000 gift to Sempervirens Fund to celebrate the title and support healthy and vibrant public lands, forests, and waterways.
“We were thrilled to partner with Sempervirens Fund for #HugATreeChallenge and are so excited to see a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title established,” said REI’s Brand Engagement & Impact Manager, Haley Caruso. “REI is happy to support organizations like Sempervirens Fund, because our work together ensures future generations can enjoy outdoor recreation in nature’s most beautiful places.”
California’s coast redwoods have survived for more than 250 million years, and because they sequester more carbon per volume than any other tree species on the planet, they are one of the best resources available in reducing the harms caused by climate change. Rapid and extreme changes to climate and weather, as well as the growing intensity of wildfires, make it less likely that they will be able to continue to adapt and thrive without a strong effort to reverse the effects of climate change.
Sempervirens Fund’s work has been crucial to the revitalization of the Santa Cruz mountains following the CZU fire in 2020. In response to that fire, and with an outpouring of support from around the country and world, it raised more than $600,000 for the Big Basin Recovery Fund, removed damaged trees and debris that posed a hazard to visitors, prepared forests for recovery, and created new infrastructure and installed water tanks in the area. It also recently planted 25,000 new trees in the San Vicente Redwoods, where 86,000 acres were burned in CZU.
The #HugATreeChallenge was also sponsored by AllTrails.
“Congratulations to Sempervirens Fund and tree lovers everywhere for the new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title,” said AllTrails CEO, Ron Schneidermann. “Being based in the Bay Area, we know firsthand how important it is to protect our coastal redwoods and are happy to support Sempervirens Fund in that work. Life is made better by being outside, and we all have to help protect nature so it can be enjoyed by everyone for years to come.”