PLATINUM2024

GREEN FORESTS WORK

Lexington, KY   |  greenforestswork.org
GuideStar Charity Check

GREEN FORESTS WORK

EIN: 46-1296612


Mission

Green Forests Work's mission is to re-establish healthy and productive forests on formerly mined lands in Appalachia. Reforesting these unproductive sites will create a renewable and sustainable multi-use resource that will provide economic opportunities while improving ecosystem services.

Ruling year info

2013

Founder and President

Dr. Christopher Barton

Main address

Thomas Poe Cooper Building 730 Rose Street

Lexington, KY 40546-0073 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-1296612

Subject area info

Forest preservation

Environmental education

Employment

Population served info

Economically disadvantaged people

NTEE code info

Forest Conservation (C36)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

Employment Procurement Assistance and Job Training (J20)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Green Forests Work (GFW) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to restore healthy, productive, native forest types on lands across the Appalachian region that have been degraded by coal mining activities. GFW’s vision is to create a renewable and sustainable multi-use resource that will provide economic opportunities while enhancing the local and global environment. By converting reclaimed, non-native grasslands and scrublands into healthy, productive forestland, GFW is effectively addressing two needs of the region. Our reforestation projects improve the environment by eradicating exotic species and restoring the ecosystem services that forests provide to society, and we create employment opportunities for equipment operators, nurserymen and women, and tree planters. With the help of our partners and volunteers, our vision is quickly becoming a reality—since 2009, we have planted more than 3.1 million trees across nearly 5,000 acres.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Reforestation of Legacy Surface Mines

Our main program is our mission: to re-establish healthy and productive forests on formerly mined lands in Appalachia.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Acres of land that have been reforested by the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Reforestation of Legacy Surface Mines

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Acres of natural habitat restored

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Reforestation of Legacy Surface Mines

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of trees planted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Reforestation of Legacy Surface Mines

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of suppliers with whom the SME/Coop/Enterprise has an agreement, contract, or ongoing business relationship as a result of the nonprofit's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Reforestation of Legacy Surface Mines

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Green Forests Work has partnered with over 20 groups in 2022 to plant 1,156,551 trees on 3,194 acres with 2,834 volunteers across Appalachia and in Australia.

Area of land, in hectares, directly controlled by the organization and under sustainable cultivation or sustainable stewardship

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Reforestation of Legacy Surface Mines

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Green Forests Work planted 2,197 acres (889 hectares) in 2023.

Number of national media pieces on the topic

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Reforestation of Legacy Surface Mines

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

• The New York Times • One Tree Planted • 1T.org • Arbor Day Foundation • World Economic Forum

Number of individuals in the target audience that expresses intent to adopt (or continue) desired behavior

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Reforestation of Legacy Surface Mines

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2023, 1,653 individuals volunteered at planting events for a total of 3,526 hours. Furthermore, 459 volunteers were under the age of 24.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Over the next ten years, Green Forests Work (GFW) aims to restore native forest habitat on 100,000 acres or more of land through the planting of tens of millions of trees. The Appalachian region is home to some of the most diverse temperate forest land in the world. Surface mined lands in the eastern US that were reclaimed under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) constitute a significant land resource, and the vast majority of surface mines in Appalachia were forested before mining. However, the reclamation techniques that have been utilized on coal surface mines over the past 40 years have rendered about 1 million acres of this land unable to support diverse, vigorous hardwood forests for hundreds, if not thousands of years. These past mistakes can be mitigated through intensive site preparation which enables productive forests to establish in a reasonable timeframe.

GFW and our colleagues have developed methodologies that improve land productivity and increase the survival and growth rates of planted seedlings. GFW works with public land managers and private landowners to re-establish biodiverse, native forest types on properties that have been degraded by historical coal mining activities and where no further reforestation obligations exist on the part of the mining company, the landowner, the federal government, state government, or any other entity. Reforestation of these lands provides numerous benefits including control of unwanted vegetation, creation of young-forest habitat in the short-term, and the eventual creation of mature forest habitat and reduction of forest fragmentation. Additional benefits of these reforestation projects include increased biodiversity, climate change mitigation through increased carbon accumulation, improved water quality, improved air quality through increased deposition of airborne particulates, multi-seasonal nectar sources for pollinators, and improved wildlife habitat for targeted species. GFW’s projects also provide jobs for seed collectors, equipment operators, nursery workers, and tree planters. The healthy and productive native forests that are restored will provide sustainable economic development and opportunities for entrepreneurship through future management actions, recreation, and harvesting of timber and non-timber forest products.

GFW is a collaborative organization and we have partnered with land owners and land managers, state and federal government entities, foundations, corporate sponsors, NGOs, community organizations, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and other stakeholders involved in ecological restoration. We strive to be an inclusive organization and we are continually seeking additional partners so that mutually beneficial objectives are realized and so that projects have the greatest probability of successful outcomes.

We are continually seeking to diversify and increase our sources of revenue (e.g. corporate donors, government and foundation grants, individual donors, et al.) and to identify new revenue streams (e.g. emerging markets such as carbon and eco-asset credits) that can help us to scale up our work. As consumers and the general public have become more accepting of climate change and more conscious of the threats posed by climate change, we have seen greater interest in environmental and social responsibility from corporations. We have increasingly held conversations with entities looking to influence policy and create novel funding opportunities for nature-based climate
programs. We expect to see increases in funding from both private and public investment in the
coming years.

Although we are a young organization, we have established a track record of successfully completing projects on time and have often exceeded initial expectations through our collaborative approach. We have recently received recognition by national media organizations (e.g. the Associated Press, the Washington Post Magazine, et al.) and we are continually seeking to increase our brand recognition. By working cooperatively, we have been able to engage additional stakeholders and we have been able to expand the scope of our projects and increase the amount of work that is undertaken each year. Through increased recognition and brand awareness, we have seen an increase in revenue and we are actively seeking additional potential revenue streams. Recent increases in revenue have been largely due to the recruitment of new donors and foundations, but also through increases in both number and amounts of donations by our recurring donors. The increased revenue has allowed GFW to grow as an organization and has allowed us to work on a larger scale to implement our mission. As we work toward our mission, we are continually working to keep costs low so that our investors see a maximum conservation return on their investments.

Our techniques have been built upon decades of research examining methods that improve the results of reforestation efforts undertaken on surface-mined lands. Our network of forestry professionals, researchers, and contractors possesses the knowledge base on how to efficiently and successfully undertake large-scale ecological restoration projects. Having established the “proof of concept,” we are now seeking to scale up our efforts. The effort to restore native forests on 100,000+ acres of lands degraded by mining activities over the next ten years is an ambitious undertaking that will require an investment of approximately $200M and will require not only GFW to scale up our capabilities, but will also require the scaling up of businesses supported by this work (e.g. seed collectors, tree nurseries, equipment operators, tree planting companies, et al.). However, with Appalachia’s existing infrastructure and labor supply, scaling up to restore 10,000 acres or more per year is entirely feasible. We have identified large tracts of both public and privately owned lands that would be suitable for reforestation and we have utilized contractors who are enthusiastic about the potential of this type of work. It is simply a matter of generating the revenue to make this vision a reality.

Prior to 2013, GFW was run entirely by volunteers and was simply an initiative that relied on small donations and in-kind contributions to undertake reforestation projects. In 2012 and 2014, GFW was awarded funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to formally create the non-profit entity. GFW’s first employees were hired in 2012 and GFW received its 501(c)(3) status in 2013. Having a dedicated, paid, full-time staff has greatly increased the ability of GFW to invest in its mission. Over the past 5 years alone (2016-2020), GFW has directed nearly $4M dollars into local economies, engaged more than 8,000 volunteers, and planted more than 1.5M trees across more than 2,300 acres. During that time, GFW invested in projects in eight Appalachian states and was able to implement a pilot project on a coal surface mine in Queensland, Australia.

GFW has secured funding to continue implementing projects for the next three years. We are actively working with the US Forest Service, the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, and several partnering non-profits to restore both public and private lands in several states. Because our methodologies are globally applicable, we have been working with corporate and foundation partners to expand these efforts globally.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

GREEN FORESTS WORK
Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
NET GAIN/LOSS:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

18.07

Average of 4.46 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

3.2

Average of 7.9 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

0%

Average of 0% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

GREEN FORESTS WORK

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

GREEN FORESTS WORK

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

GREEN FORESTS WORK

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of GREEN FORESTS WORK’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $153,666 $186,001 $522,088 -$502,903 $665,343
As % of expenses 19.1% 19.5% 38.8% -25.8% 26.2%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $153,666 $186,001 $522,088 -$507,116 $656,918
As % of expenses 19.1% 19.5% 38.8% -26.0% 25.8%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $958,528 $1,141,537 $1,867,248 $1,599,276 $3,202,257
Total revenue, % change over prior year 25.8% 19.1% 63.6% -14.4% 100.2%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.2%
Government grants 28.5% 22.1% 10.4% 13.8% 18.9%
All other grants and contributions 71.4% 77.9% 89.6% 86.2% 80.8%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $804,779 $955,536 $1,345,160 $1,948,927 $2,536,914
Total expenses, % change over prior year -8.3% 18.7% 40.8% 44.9% 30.2%
Personnel 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Professional fees 26.1% 20.4% 39.2% 63.9% 68.0%
Occupancy 0.5% 0.5% 0.4% 0.1% 0.1%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 73.4% 79.1% 60.4% 36.0% 31.9%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Total expenses (after depreciation) $804,779 $955,536 $1,345,160 $1,953,140 $2,545,339
One month of savings $67,065 $79,628 $112,097 $162,411 $211,410
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $42,127 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $871,844 $1,035,164 $1,457,257 $2,157,678 $2,756,749

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Months of cash 5.7 7.1 9.7 2.5 3.2
Months of cash and investments 5.7 7.1 9.7 2.6 3.3
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 5.7 7.1 9.7 3.4 5.7
Balance sheet composition info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Cash $381,688 $567,689 $1,089,777 $408,447 $685,030
Investments $0 $0 $0 $20,668 $20,668
Receivables $0 $0 $0 $83,082 $514,056
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $0 $0 $0 $42,127 $42,127
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 10.0% 30.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 3.1% 5.1%
Unrestricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total net assets $381,688 $567,689 $1,089,777 $582,661 $1,239,579

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Material data errors No No No No No

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Documents
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Founder and President

Dr. Christopher Barton

Christopher D. Barton, Ph.D., is a Professor of Forest Hydrology and Watershed Management in the Department of Forestry and Director of the Appalachian Center at the University of Kentucky. He is also the founder of Green Forests Work.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

GREEN FORESTS WORK

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

GREEN FORESTS WORK

Board of directors
as of 01/19/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Dr. Christopher Barton

University of Kentucky

Term: 2012 - 2016

Christopher Barton

University of Kentucky

Carmen Agouridis

University of Kentucky

Steve Felch

Retired from US Department of the Interior

Mary Miller

Community Volunteer

Doug Blom

Community Volunteer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/19/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/19/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.