1. Change is Coming to Two California Communities

    Over the past few weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to work with some very dedicated people in two of California’s largest cities – San Diego and Stockton. It’s been amazing to see both what needs to be accomplished in these cities and how hard these individuals are working to make sure the work in done.   In Stockton, volunteers are facing an up-hill battle. Last year, the city declared bankruptcy. It has one of the highest homicide rates in the country. Trees are the least of this community’s worries. Yet, there is a group of citizens there who know that...
  2. Prop 84: Calling for Concept Proposals

    The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) is now accepting Concept Proposal applications for Round 2 of the Prop 84 Stormwater Grant Program (SWGP). There will be approximately $38.4 million in funding available to local public agencies for projects that reduce or prevent stormwater contamination of rivers, lakes and streams.   General program requirements, eligibility and proposal selection details can be found in the Proposition 84 Stormwater Grant Program Guidelines. The State Water Board will hold two public workshops regarding the grant application process this month:   • Workshop 1: September 19th, 1-3 pm, Sierra Hearing Room, CalEPA...
  3. Neighbors Rally at HBTS Event

    On August 24, a few volunteers met to plant ten trees in Burke Park in Huntington Beach. It turned out that the park, surrounded by a residential area, was the perfect spot for the Huntington Beach Tree Society to plant trees and educate volunteers about their importance.   Jean Nagy, the Tree Society’s Executive Director, explained, “When volunteers started planting early that morning, it seemed like the neighbors could not stay in their homes. So many of them just had to give a helping hand.”   The homeowners were thankful for the work done to beautify the park. What they...
  4. Partnering to Protect the Bay Area’s Water

    California ReLeaf recently supported the recruitment and training of two interns for The Watershed Project’s Tree Team Project who will act as Richmond Rain to Roots program ambassadors in Richmond’s Iron Triangle and Sante Fe, two low-income, high-crime neighborhoods in the city.   Training for the interns included 20 hours of basic watershed awareness curriculum that included urban forestry concepts and benefits, climate change topics, storm water pollution and an introduction to green infrastructure solutions. An additional 16 hours was spent training them for the outreach portion of the program. The interns learned how to promote the tree-planting program both...
  5. RFP for Tree Planting Program

    You are invited to participate in the Request for Proposals (RFP) process for the Invest From the Ground Up-Community Tree Planting Program.    The Invest From the Ground Up-Community Tree Planting Program is a regional tree planting and education program led by the California Urban Forests Council and the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.  In 2013/14, the program is launching in the San Francisco Bay Area (nine-county area) and the Southern San Joaquin Valley (Kern and Tulare Counties) to plant thousands of trees all in one day – February 15, 2014.  In partnership with California ReLeaf, the...
  6. San Bernardino Youth Renew Parks and Streets

    Southern California Mountains Foundation’s Urban Youth Tree Corp Project, funded through grants made possible by California ReLeaf, CAL FIRE, and the Environmental Protection Agency, was a very successful and effective effort to engage inner city, at-risk youth in urban tree care at the local parks and on the streets. 324 youths were recruited and trained through 32 environmental education, tree care, and urban forestry workshops through the project.   The focal point of the project was tree care and field education and experience for the Urban Conservation Corps (UCC). The Southern California Mountains Foundation provides a workforce development program that...
  7. Urban Forestry Project Awards Announced

    NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:  Chuck Mills (916) 497-0035   URBAN FORESTRY PROJECT AWARDS ANNOUNCED     Sacramento, CA, July 24, 2013 – California ReLeaf announced today that community groups across the state will receive $34,000 in funding for tree care and tree planting projects through the California ReLeaf 2013 Urban Forestry and Education Grant Program.  Individual grants range from $1,600 to $5,000.   The grant recipients are engaging in a variety of tree planting and tree maintenance projects that will enhance urban forests in both highly utilized and severely underserved communities throughout the state.  Each project also contains...
  8. Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program Releases Updated Draft Guidelines

    The Strategic Growth Council has released draft guidelines for the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant and Incentives Program, which offers grants to cities, counties, and designated regional agencies to promote sustainable community planning and natural resource conservation. This draft includes substantial changes to how applications are assessed.   Below is a summary of the proposed changes. For more details on these explanations, please see the Workshop Draft.   Strongly prioritize greenhouse gas emission reduction projects. Measure progress with actionable and valuable indicators based on reliable quantifiable or qualitative data. Prioritize project implementation by focusing on projects likely to be implemented in...
  9. A Higher Purpose

      A tree can be many things: an air filter, a playground, a shade structure, a landmark. One of the highest purposes a tree can serve, though, is as a memorial.   Recently, through support from California ReLeaf, the Incredible Edible Community Garden (IECG) was able to plant 50 trees with such a purpose.   On March 23, trees were planted at the California State San Bernardino Veteran Success Center to honor and memorialize veterans past, present, and future. The Veteran Success Center provides programs and services that are unique to the needs of service members, including a room where...
  10. Volunteers Give Valuable Time

    Many of us in the nonprofit world would say that the time volunteers donate to our organizations is priceless. And in practically every way it is.   Each year though, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Independent Sector place a value on the time volunteers donate to charitable causes. Nonprofit organizations can use this amount to quantify the enormous value  their volunteers provide. The estimated national value of volunteer time in 2012 (it’s always a year behind) is $22.14 per hour – up 35 cents from last year. Here in California, the rate is even higher – $24.75 – up...