1. Grants For Groups Getting Kids Outside

    California Community Forests Foundation (CCFF) is providing small grants to groups working with kids in order to get them outside and learning! “Outdoor Classroom Grants” CCFF is awarding grants of up to $250 to assist in the development of outdoor classrooms or school gardens in California. This grant supports teachers, other educators, and community members working in partnership to develop an outdoor classroom for child use — in particular, projects that demonstrate integration of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) principles, and that include a plan for long-term sustainability. Click here for the full guidelines and application! “Kids and...
  2. Don’t You Forget About Me

    By Chuck Mills, Director, Public Policy & GrantsI know what you’re thinking. How appropriate it is that Chuck obliquely references Simple Minds in his blog’s title. Shouldn’t all of his musings have some dim connotation? Perhaps. But let’s see if you re-think that position after I clarify what I’m really referencing from the onset of this piece. Remember way back in March 2015 when California ReLeaf awarded the last of its sub-grant funds for small Arbor Week projects, and a handful of social equity tree-planting grants? Those 15 projects represented the last of what California ReLeaf held in the sub-grants...
  3. Another Big Budget Year for Trees!

    by Chuck Mills I recently learned while watching television – the definitive device for expanding one’s education – that three well-respected dictionaries included alternate definitions of the word literally in 2013 that essentially amount to “being taken figuratively.” This is my reason #827 for not having kids: they will speak jibberish if adhering to the likes of Oxford, Cambridge and Merriam-Webster. But I digress. I raise this point to emphasize that when I say California’s urban forest stakeholders literally had no state funding two years ago, I’m going old school on y’all. Not very long ago, CAL FIRE’s Urban and...
  4. 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...
  5. The Green Rush

    by Chuck Mills   A California ReLeaf board member recently commented that urban forestry is now experiencing a “Green Rush” of funding stemming from recent State Budget appropriations. It’s a poignant observation that should motivate all of us to seize this moment. Like California’s seven-year gold rush, this unprecedented stream of new dollars will not last forever. In an effort to help Network members and community groups mine the state’s urban forestry-related funds, California ReLeaf has a new web page that provides one-stop shopping for the most pertinent California public grants programs that currently exist or are in development for...
  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. 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...
  9. Prop 39 Implementation

    Let’s Shade Some Schools California voters passed Proposition 39 in 2012 by a 60% margin in order to eliminate a corporate tax loophole and provide $550 million each year over the next five years for energy efficiency projects throughout the state.   Flash forward to the present. The California Energy Commission has adopted Proposition 39 implementation guidelines, and is ready to roll out nearly $430 million to schools and community colleges to support energy efficiency upgrades that range from solar panels to HVAC improvements to, yes it is true, tree planting projects that support energy conservation.   This is a...