Conversation with Rick Hawley

Current Position: Executive Director, Greenspace – the Cambria Land Trust

What is/was your relationship to ReLeaf?

Network group – 1996, year before Cambria retreat.

Advisory council – I was involved during the transition when advocacy became part of the Network and was one of the architects in getting ReLeaf positioned for nonprofit incorporation.

What did/does California ReLeaf mean to you?

To me ReLeaf means that there are a lot more people out there who think about trees – it’s not just me. It’s California’s tree support network – the folks we rely on. Because of ReLeaf we know that there is tree work getting done all over the state. In every city and town there is the message that trees are important. And trees are becoming even more important as global warming weighs on people’s consciousnesses.

Best memory or event of California ReLeaf?

The Cambria meeting was certainly one of the highlights. Lots of groups attended. Also the meeting in Santa Cruz – in the 2001. That is when I was able to give a presentation on how to attract more money by being an advocate for trees – helping groups become more proactive because money doesn’t just fall in your lap. We have to advocate for trees through interactions with the people with money and the decision makers. It is about one-on-one interactions and relationships. I received a grant from ReLeaf so that I could mentor other groups on being a tree advocate without fear of jeopardizing nonprofit status.

Why is it important that California ReLeaf continue its Mission?

It gives the tree network leadership and guidance. ReLeaf is our voice in Sacramento and it continues to lobby for money for urban forest projects!