1. MLK Day of Service: An Opportunity for Environmental Justice

    By Kevin Jefferson and Eric Arnold, Urban Releaf On this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service (MLK DOS), we helped Urban Releaf plant trees on G Street in East Oakland. This is where we’ve been doing a lot of work the past few months. The area needs a lot of help; it’s one of the worst blocks in the city in terms of blight and illegal dumping. And as you might expect, its tree canopy is minimal. We wanted to have our MLK DOS event, which we’ve been doing for the past seven years, here, because this...
  2. Teaming Up for Trees

    The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has outlined tips for working with professional sports teams on urban forestry projects. They have successfully partnered with the Green Bay Packers (football) and Milwaukee Brewers (baseball) teams to get trees in the ground as well as a lot of wonderful press and associated public awareness. More information and their playbook can be downloaded here: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/UrbanForests/playbook.html
  3. Webinar Resources: Tools for Estimating Greenhouse Gas Benefits of Trees

    October 20, 2014 Presented by Kelaine Ravdin, Urban Ecos Sponsored by: Urban Ecos, CAUFC, California ReLeaf, and CAL FIRE   The new round of CAL FIRE urban forestry grants requires applicants to estimate the greenhouse gas effects of the proposed projects. Currently, the policy in this field has outpaced the development of tools to do exactly the kinds of calculations that are needed. In the meantime, a few tools do exist that can be tweaked to get the results we need. This webinar offered a tutorial to help you get started with the most important part–calculating the benefits of newly...
  4. 25 Reasons to Love Urban Trees

    Trees drastically reduce the need for air conditioning. Just three strategically placed trees can decrease utility bills by 50%. Trees attract customers. Shoppers spend up 12% more in shopping centers with trees and will shop longer and return more frequently. Trees can reduce annual storm water runoff by 2% — 7%. Trees reduce noise pollution by absorbing sounds. Urban forests support 60,000 California jobs annually. Trees encourage walking and cycling, which decreases car use and vehicular emissions, and helps keep people physically fit. Trees clean the air we breathe by absorbing carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides and other air pollutants. Trees...
  5. USFS Webinar: Urban Forests for Human Health & Wellness

    Urban Forests for Human Health and Wellness Wednesday, September 10, 2014 | 1:00 – 2:00pm ET People have described the healing power of nature for centuries. This webinar will present current research and best practices showing how outdoor spaces support human health and wellness. Such information can help nature planners and managers engage their community leaders in greening programs, and encourage municipal investments in nearby nature settings to improve human health and well-being. Kathleen Wolf will introduce the latest discourse on human habitat and health, and review health findings that may be of economic value in communities. Teresia Hazen will...
  6. Urban Forestry Makes History

    By Chuck Mills   On June 15, 2014, the Legislature passed a state budget bill that includes $17.8 million for CAL FIRE’s Urban and Community Forestry (U&CF) Program.  Governor Brown is expected to sign this deal.   To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest single-state annual appropriation for urban forestry in US History.   More details will follow, but this much is certain: $15.7 million for projects and grants through the U&CF Program, with $2.1 million to support staffing and administration. Per the statutory requirements of Senate Bill 535, the majority of these funds will benefit disadvantaged...
  7. Silence Isn’t Golden

    Over the next month, community groups and ReLeaf Network members across California have an opportunity to comment on two important issues. They are the Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWM); and the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Urban Forest Project Protocols. To date, these efforts have been fairly non-profitable for urban forestry groups working daily to green our golden state, but with guidance from stakeholders they could prove to be beneficial.   In March, 2014, Governor Brown and the Legislature directed DWR to expedite the solicitation and award of $200 million in IRWM funding to...
  8. National Walking Day

    Today, take a break from your normal routine and take a walk.   The American Heart Association celebrates National Walking Day every year on the first Wednesday in April. The holiday was created to increase the amount of activity people get and, in turn, their heart health. Healthy urban forests are an important part of making the walks you take for heart heath even better.   People who live in tree-lined neighborhoods are three times more likely to be active than those who live in less green communities. Studies have also shown that the brain operates in a more meditative...
  9. 2014 California Arbor Week Winning Posters

    We’re excited to announce the winners of the 2014 California Arbor Week Poster Contest. Thanks to everyone who participated and congratulations to our winners!   And thanks to all of our Poster Contest sponsors: CAL FIRE, Union Bank, and the California Community Forest Foundation.   3rd Grade Winner Carolyn Lum, Roseville     4th Grade Winner Paige Davis, Wheatland                                                     5th Grade Winner Alyanna Almario, Beale Air Force Base