Urban Forestry Success Stories

Through an education and outreach grant from California ReLeaf, the Huntington Beach Tree Society was able to include 42,000 brochures outlining the benefits of urban trees in the city water bill. This mailing was followed by a second mailing with 42,000 Arbor Day invitations included in the same city water bills. To date, the Tree Society has seen an increase in the number of calls from homeowners for assistance and in the number of neighborhood groups requesting tree plantings, all in addition to 42,000 households being educated on the benefits of trees in their community.

Volunteers plant a tree at a Huntington Beach Tree Society event.

Volunteers plant a tree at a Huntington Beach Tree Society event.

The Spanish Speaking Unity Council, a community development organization in Oakland, used grant funds to engage residents and merchants in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in tree planting events commemorating Cesar Chavez Day and Earth Day, planting a total of 170 trees. Letters in English and Spanish reminded property owners after the planting of their commitment to care for the tree adjacent to their property. The Unity Council also trained 20 neighborhood volunteers to monitor the new trees and continue public outreach and education. Total attendance at the Cesar Chavez and Earth Day festivals was 7,000.

Teens learn from one of their mentors at the Ojai Valley Youth Foundation.

Teens learn from one of their mentors at the Ojai Valley Youth Foundation.

The Ojai Valley Youth Foundation enlisted the help of high school students to spread the urban forestry message, particularly stressing the value of native oaks and the need to preserve the remaining oaks in this Southern California community. Under the tutelage of adult mentors:

  • Students wrote a series of 8 articles on local urban forestry issues that appeared in the local newspaper, circulation of 8,000.
  • Six youth were trained to speak and present a PowerPoint on oak tree care to governmental councils, civic groups, and schools, reaching a total of 795 decision makers, homeowners, and students.
  • The PowerPoint on oaks was shown on a local TV channel, reaching 30,000 viewers.
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