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. What a Difference a Year Makes!

    By Jim Clark Welcome 2015! On New Year’s Eve, I took a break from my near constant holiday partying to reflect on California ReLeaf’s year. We started 2014 with the resignation of Joe Liszewski, our executive director. And we knew that long-time manager of budgets and finance, Kathleen Farren, would be leaving in July. That’s 50% staff turnover! We were fortunate to have Amelia Oliver step-up and in as interim Executive Director while we searched for a new one. And of course, the search took longer than we planned. But the result was awesome and Cindy Blain joined California ReLeaf...
  3. From the Boston Globe: The City Is an Ecosystem

    The city is an ecosystem, pipes and all What scientists are finding when they treat the urban landscape as an evolving environment of its own By Courtney Humphries Boston Globe Correspondent November 07, 2014 Is a tree trying to survive in the city better off than a tree growing in the forest? The obvious answer would seem to be “no”: City trees face pollution, poor soil, and a root system disrupted by asphalt and pipes. But when ecologists at Boston University took core samples from trees around Eastern Massachusetts, they found a surprise: Boston street trees grow twice as fast...
  4. The Positive Impact of the Magnitude

    Over the past 25 years, California ReLeaf has been assisted, led, and championed by many incredible people. At the beginning of 2014, Amelia Oliver interviewed many of those people who made the most impact during California ReLeaf’s early years. Andy Lipkis Founder and President, TreePeople TreePeople started their work in 1970 and incorporated as a nonprofit in 1973. What is/was your relationship to ReLeaf? My relationship with California ReLeaf started when I met Isabel Wade in 1970. Isabel was interested in community-based urban forestry and she and I started pulling stuff together. We attended the 1978 National Urban Forest Conference...
  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. ED Travel Log: SF Bay Area

    During the last week of May, Acting Executive Director Amelia Oliver traveled to the San Francisco Bay Area to begin planning an exciting event and to meet with current ReLeaf Network members. Here, she shares some of the details of her trip.                                                                              
  8. Tree Musketeers Search for Community Forester

    Tree Musketeers is a trendsetting, youth-led nonprofit located in El Segundo, California. Their mission is to empower young people to be environmental leaders.   The organization is currently seeking an individual with a unique combination of urban forestry experience and strong interpersonal qualities to serve as Community Forester. This person must be equally comfortable digging in the dirt, teaching classes or conducting business.   To view the full position description, click here. You can send your one-page resume and cover letter to jobs@treemusketeers.org.
  9. 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...
  10. 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...