Drinking beer and wine this summer could help replant Oregon’s forests

CLACKAMAS, Ore. (KOIN) — Helping to restore Oregon’s forests after the 2020 wildfire season can be as easy as cracking open a cold one thanks to a new campaign by four beverage makers across the state. 

Portland Cider Company, Stoller Wine Group, Sunriver Brewing, and Pelican Brewing have joined together for the “You Buy One, We Plant One campaign.” 

Starting this month through August, for any six-pack sold by the breweries or any 375mL cans of wine sold by the companies, they’ll donate $1 to Oregon Parks Forever to help replant trees. 

“It’s one of those things where I’m sorry that we’re having to do this, but we’re excited to be able to do something as a result,” said Jeff Parish, co-owner of Portland Cider Company. 

Parish said he was approached by leaders at Stoller Wine Group and asked to take part in the campaign. He said Portland Cider Company had been wanting to do something to help with wildfire relief, especially after the September fires hit so close to home for Parish and his family. 

“We live in rural Clackamas County and we had to evacuate about a week into the fires. Fortunately, our house was never really in danger, but we were inside the mandatory evacuation zone, so we got out and it was a pretty scary time,” Parish said. 

Jeff Parish, owner of Portland Cider Company, stands in his pub and cidery in Clackamas on July 5, 2021. (KOIN)

He said he’s lived in Oregon his entire life and he’s never seen a wildfire season like 2020. 

Oregon Parks Forever, a non-profit that raises funds to support parks throughout the state, is on a mission to plant 1 million trees in response to the wildfire devastation. So far, they’ve raised enough money to plant about 400,000 trees. 

Oregon Parks Forever recently made the first distribution from its wildfire fund. The money went to reforesting and repairing the Collier Memorial State Park and Logging Museum, which were damaged in the Two Four Two fire in September.

Seth Miller, executive director of Oregon Parks Forever, said he still doesn’t know exactly where the trees from the “You Buy One, We Plant One” campaign will go. 

“What we’ve said to the agencies is let’s see how much money we raise first, and then we’ll then talk about where we can plant the trees that have the highest impact there is for visibility, for people traveling, and for the impact on tourism and recreation,” Miller said. 

Each tree costs about $1 to plant. The beverage makers hope they can raise $25,000, enough to plant 25,000 trees. 

Parish said he thinks this cause will resonate with his customers. He said almost everyone who visits the pub and cidery in Clackamas was impacted or knows someone who was impacted by the 2020 fires. 

Miller said he’s pleased to see a variety of beverage makers, from Sunriver Brewing in Central Oregon to Pelican Brewing on the coast, participating because it will allow more Oregonians a chance to participate in the campaign. 

It doesn’t matter where the six-pack or can of wine is purchased. Any item sold will contribute to the Oregon Parks Forever fund. Anyone who’d like to contribute to replanting trees without purchasing a beverage can donate directly online.