Registration is open for the 2016 STIHL Tour des Trees, the week-long, 561-mile cycling event that benefits the Tree Research and Education Endowment (TREE) Fund.

This year’s event takes place in North and South Carolina from Oct. 9-15. The 2016 Tour begins and ends in Charlotte, North Carolina, with overnight stops in both states including the cities of Mount Airy, Greensboro, Raleigh, Southern Pines, Camden and Charlotte.

Tour riders visit dozens of communities along their route, planting trees in cities and parks, educating children and adults on why we need trees to survive and thrive, and engaging with local tree stewards about the importance of continued research to support science-based tree care. Every full-Tour participant commits to raising a minimum of $3,500 for the TREE Fund in addition to pedaling the 561 miles, rain or shine. A partial Tour registration option with a prorated fundraising requirement is also available.

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Organizers for the event, the largest community engagement and fundraising event for the TREE Fund, anticipate raising more than $325,000 for tree research and education programs aimed at connecting young people with the environment and career opportunities in the green industries.

“As a sponsor of STIHL Tour des Trees, we believe in the TREE Fund’s mission of keeping trees healthy through research and education,” said Roger Phelps, corporate communications manager for STIHL. “The riders and supporters of this fundraiser have a contagious enthusiasm for trees that gives us confidence today’s children will become tomorrow’s advocates.”