Origin Story, Legacy, Future Vision

Save The Rainforest, Inc. began as a biology class project in 1988 in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. Bruce Calhoun was teaching his biology class about rainforests from his firsthand experiences. The students were surprised to learn about the destruction of the rainforest that Mr. Calhoun shared with them because it was not to be found in their textbooks. They came to realize that students, teachers, the general public, and even textbook publishers were not informed about what was actually happening to rainforests. They decided to do something about it.

For their class project, the students created an informational packet about tropical rainforests and mailed it to every high school science teacher in the United States. In the packet they asked those teachers if they wanted to join a new club called “Save The Rainforest” and receive additional information.


A movement was born.

Save The Rainforest became one of the first groups to:

  • Educate about the importance of rainforests.
  • Offer “Adopt-An-Acre” programs.
  • Help create the International Children’s Rainforest Network.
  • Take teachers and students on trips to see the rainforest first-hand.

A relic by today’s standards, The Vine was a newsletter produced in 2008: Issue 1, Issue 2, Issue 3, Issue 4, Issue 5, and so on. Check out the issues for a glimpse of the legacy in action.

The legacy of Bruce Calhoun, Butch Beedle, and the early teacher and student Founders is real.

Remarkably, over 10,000 students have participated in our life-changing trips and over $500,000 has been donated to protect and rehabilitate rainforest land.

Our vision for the future

A world where destroying tropical forests will be unthinkable and reforesting degraded habitat with native tree species will bring our planet into balance.