1. A Second Chance to Connect Trees to Water Quality

    California’s State Legislature voted on July 5th to move the $11 billion water bond slated for the November 2012 Ballot to 2014, thus opening an opportunity to craft a more economically feasible and environmentally responsive product for voters to consider over the next 24 months. This is the second time the bond vote has been delayed since 2010.   What a more “economically feasible” and “environmentally responsive” bond looks like depends largely on who you ask. But what is certain is that the current version does not contain funding for urban greening. In fact, it is the first water/resources bond...
  2. Budget Bill Boosts Urban Forestry Efforts

    Governor Jerry Brown has signed the primary component of the State’s 2012-2013 spending plan which seeks to close a $15.7 billion budget gap through deep cuts to multiple services, pay decreases for state workers, and reliance on the passage of a tax initiative that is slated for the November 2012 ballot.   While the 2012-13 budget is a mixed bag for multiple interests throughout California, urban forestry will see funding next year coming primarily from: $10 million included for the Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program, $20 million for a third and final round of urban greening grants through the Strategic...
  3. A New Tree at the Capitol

    Today, California ReLeaf, Sacramento Tree Foundation, and the Western Chapter of the International Society of Aboriculture joined Assemblymember Roger Dickinson and other members of the state legislature to dedicate a new tree in Capitol Park. The Valley Oak was planted just south of the rose garden. In other Capitol news, Governor Brown issued a proclamation recognizing March 7th as Arbor Day in California. He led the proclamation with the poem “Green and Gold” by Gary Snyder. To read the full proclamation, visit the governor’s website.
  4. Benefits of Trees Backed by Research

    We all know trees are beautiful and many of us in the urban and community forestry world can give a laundry list of the other benefits trees provide. Now, Alliance for Community Trees has made it easy for us to refer people to the research that backs up that list of benefits. ACTrees has compiled a resource list of the many scientifically-proven benefits of trees in a single document. Grouped by category, the benefits and corresponding studies speak to the enormous value of urban and community trees. Click here to view the document.
  5. California to sue feds over levee trees

    The state of California will join environmental groups in a lawsuit against the federal government to protect trees growing on levees. The state Department of Fish and Game announced Wednesday it will join the federal lawsuit, initiated earlier this year by Sacramento-based Friends of the River. The suit challenges a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers policy that bans trees on levees, on grounds that trees undermine levee stability and maintenance practices. “If adhered to, the policy will do incredible damage to California’s remaining riparian and adjacent riverine ecosystem, especially in the Central Valley, said Fish and Game Director Charlton Bonham. Click here to read more.
  6. Governor Brown Signs Volunteer Bill

      Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 587 (Gordon and Furutani) on September 6th, which now extends the current prevailing wage exemption for volunteers through 2017.  This was the priority legislation for the urban forestry community this year, and is essential to preserving the rights of all Californians to donate their time and spirit to a spectrum of resource conservation activities, critical tree care and tree planting projects. California ReLeaf Network groups and their partners provided strong support for this bill throughout the legislative session, which helped make a difference.   Thanks to everyone for making this effort such a huge...
  7. Webinar: Red Fields to Green Fields

    Red Fields to Green Fields is a national research effort led by Georgia Tech Research Institute in partnership with the City Parks Alliance to evaluate the potential impacts of converting financially and/or physically distressed commercial real estate to land banks — and ultimately greenspace and parks.  The initiative has the potential to create jobs, stabilize the housing market and create more sustainable communities while unlocking bad debt frozen in banks.  Studies have been conducted in 11 U.S. cities including Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Wilmington, and Hilton Head Island. The project has involved 14 universities...
  8. Vibrant Cities & Urban Forests: A National Call to Action

    In April 2011, the U.S. Forest Service and non-profit New York Restoration Project (NYRP) convened the Vibrant Cities and Urban Forests: A National Call to Action task force outside of Washington, DC. The three-day workshop addressed the future of our nation’s urban forests and ecosystems; incorporating the health, environmental, social and economic benefits they bring to sustainable and vibrant cities. The VCUF task force set out to craft a vision, set of goals and recommendations that will advance urban forestry and natural resources stewardship into the next decade and beyond. The 25 individuals who comprise the task force include the...