Conversation with Martha Ozonoff

Current Position: Development Officer, UC Davis, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

What is/was your relationship to ReLeaf?

Network member (TreeDavis): 1993 – 2000

Network Advisory member: 1996 – 2000

Executive Director: 2000 – 2010

Donor: 2010 – present

ReLeaf license plate owner: 1998 – present

What did/does California ReLeaf mean to you?

When I worked at TreeDavis, ReLeaf was my mentor organization; providing contacts, networking, connections, funding sources through which TreeDavis’s work was able to be accomplished. Pillars of the industry became my colleagues. This whole experience shaped the beginning of my career for which I have immense gratitude.

Working as staff at ReLeaf took my career to a whole new different level. I learned about advocacy and working with government agencies. I went through the growth of ReLeaf into an independent, stand-alone nonprofit organization. That was an incredible experience! Then there was the great opportunity for the ReLeaf network and Urban Forestry in California when the Recovery money was awarded to California ReLeaf. It brought us to a new and unprecedented level. I always enjoyed working with such a talented staff!

Best memory or event of California ReLeaf?

I fondly recall the early statewide meetings with the friendship building and rejuvenating activities. Everything was new: this was grassroots urban forestry at its beginning.

Why is it important that California ReLeaf continue its Mission?

Climate change. Urban forest is a way to combat climate change that is not controversial and is affordable. California ReLeaf needs to remain as a funding source for small groups; empowering them to make a difference in their community. Lastly, ReLeaf is the voice at the capitol for urban greening.