WCEF & PINES Contribute to Charitable Causes
Even before starting Pines, the Founders envisioned the Wilderness Community Education Foundation (WCEF). They wanted Pines to use its profits for the goals of the WCEF. Those goals included sustainable farming and good nutrition for all.
The WCEF Restores Native Prairie
The WCEF returned the field in the picture above to native prairie grasses. It returns erodible fields on lands owned native prairie when possible.
Establishing Permanent Wildlife Refuges
In the 1980s and 1990s, most gifts to the WCEF came from Pines. The WCEF used those funds to purchase more than 700 acres of woodlands and prairie as a wildlife refuge. Pines also purchased more than 1,000 additional acres for as organic farms. We brought all these lands into certified organic status within three years from the date of purchase.
Another 5,000 acres of nearby woodland and native prairie are owned by the University of Kansas Endowment Association. Combined with land owned by PINES and the WCEF has made one of the largest expanses of undeveloped land in Northeastern Kansas. All the land is certified organic.
WCEF's Role in the Kansas Riverkeeper Program
Another major project for the WCEF and Pines during our first two decades was the Kansas Riverkeeper program called "Friends of the Kaw." More than half of a permanent endowment came from Pines, the WCEF and our shareholders. Friends of the Kaw invested this fund. Income from it ensures a Riverkeeper in perpetuity to protect a beautiful but threatened Kansas resource. The Riverkeeper travels the Kansas river to report pollution. She also lobbies the law makers to prevent damage or pollution to this precious resource.
More than $135,000 in Gifts During Last Eight Years
In more recent years, the WCEF used gifts from stockholders and bequests to support its values. Since 2008, the WCEF gave more than $135,000 to various groups that share our goals.
Gifts to Support the Planet
The WCEF provides funds to the Kansas Sierra Club, Citizens' Climate Lobby, Kansas Land Trust and Friends of the Kaw. We speak out against farming methods in other parts of Kansas that waste and contaminate ground water. Farmers in the dry parts of our State depleted and poisoned the precious and once-plentiful ground water supply known as the "Ogallala Aquifer." They wasted it and contaminated it with poisons used to grow animal feed for the meat industry and GMO corn for ethanol. This resource took tens of thousands of years to accumulate. In less than 100 years, poison-based farming has nearly depleted and poisoned it. Besides speaking out against using what little remains of this resource, Pines grows its crops in areas that do not require irrigation. Instead, we depend on natural rainfall.
Gifts to Support Organic Farming
Gifts to Feeding Programs
PINES has given millions of Pines Wheat Grass servings to feeding programs worldwide. The WCEF supports local feeding programs with cash gifts. Those programs include Lawrence Meals on Wheels, Kansas Food Bank, ECKAN/Just Food.
Other Contributions to Programs for the Poor
The WCEF has also made cash contributions to other programs that help people in need. Those include the Lawrence Habitat for Humanity, Health Care Access, Heartland Community Health Center and the Lawrence Community Shelter.
In addition, the WCEF has also supported scholarship programs with Bastyr University, the United Negro College Fund and the American Indian College Fund. We also provide cash contributions to our local fire department, the Jefferson County Fire District.
Pines gave computers, printers and software to a school on a remote Island off the coast of Belize. Like most natural food brands, PINES also makes gifts to Vitamin Angels. Unlike other natural food brands, Pines has also taken a strong stand against the use of petrochemical plastic. We feel it is wrong for many reasons to package foods in plastic. We are the only grower to follow the growing and harvest standards of Charles Schnabel, The Father of Wheatgrass, as well as his package standards. His package standards involved using only amber glass bottles with special metal caps. That is the only kind of packaging that can remove the oxygen for each bottle. That safeguard protects green super foods from the oxidation that devitalizes similar products in plastic containers. Some plastic brands use oxygen absorbing packets, which do not work because plastic is porous. Our products are available at leading natural food stores or through a shopping cart on this website.
Our Logo Reflects Our Goals
PINES chose the pine tree as our logo because it reflects our philosophy. That's because a global symbol of the peace found in nature is the pine tree. We are proud to have fulfilled and to continue to fulfill our mission of more than 40 years ago.
Starting in 1976, more than 100 individuals invested an average of $200 each. Those small investments helped PINES and the WCEF become a reality. These people gave support not because they expected a large return but because they believed in our values.