On behalf of all Canopy volunteers, friends and supporters, please join me in thanking Andreessen Horowitz and General Partner Peter Levine and his wife Martha Blackwell who selected Canopy as one of the firm's inaugural beneficiaries of a generous and visionary investment in philanthropy. The six General Partners of Andreessen Horowitz announced their decision to donate at least half of all income from their venture capital careers to philanthropic causes, explaining, "we hope that our philanthropy can, over time, help make the world a better place."
In his April 25 blog post, Marc Andreessen described "an immediate group donation of $1 million to a set of six vital Silicon Valley nonprofit organizations", with Canopy receiving approximately $170,000. In the coming months we will explore how to maximize this grant's impact, with particular focus on educational programs.
Martha told me that she and Peter chose Canopy for this inaugural gift based on their family's passion for the environment, her specific interest in trees along with their familiarity with the important work Canopy does in the community. "One of the most important things you can teach children is about the environment and what we can each do to care for it," Martha said. "The environment is the one of the most significant issues future generations are facing and, doing little things, like appreciating or planting a tree, has a profound impact on kids."
Martha has been involved with Canopy since 2006. She first participated in a Tree Stewardship workshop series, then became an active volunteer and supporter, serving on our Board from 2006 to 2008. One of Martha's favorite experiences as a Canopy volunteer was a nursery-school campus tree walk she gave a few years ago. "For months following that one walk, the children gathered leaves and hugged the trees on a daily basis," she explained. "Teachers and parents at the school are still, six years later, talking about it."
Through its philanthropic initiative, Andreessen Horowitz will have a profound impact on our local communities. For Canopy, it provides the largest gift we've ever received. As we continue our work to grow the understanding that trees are the anchor of urban greening and define nature in the urban environment, we look forward to pursuing innovative educational programs.
I know you share Canopy's gratitude for Peter and Martha's visionary gift.
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