1. Ready your Crayons! Pick up your Cameras! Plant a Tree!

    California Arbor Week Contests Highlight the Importance of Trees   Sacramento, Calif. – Two statewide contests are being held to celebrate California Arbor Week, March 7-14, a statewide celebration of trees. These contests are designed to increase awareness of and appreciation for the trees and forests in the communities where Californians live, work and play. Winners will be featured at the State Fair and awarded cash prizes.   Third, fourth, and fifth grade students throughout California are invited to participate in the Annual California Arbor Week Poster Contest. This year’s contest, themed “Trees Make My Community Healthy,” is designed to...
  2. Sacramento Tree Foundation Greenprint Workshop

    If you have never had the opportunity to attend one of the Sacramento Tree Foundation’s Greenprint Summits, you should really make the effort this year. On January 30, 2014, people from all over the Sacramento region will gather in Citrus Heights for a day of networking, conversation, and collaboration on designing, building, and maintaining a healthy communities. This year’s summit will focus on demonstrating the connections between public health and urban forests.   For more information or to register for this event, click here.    
  3. Health in All Policies – A Guide for State & Local Governments

    A new guide for health in all policies for state and local governments is available. You may wonder why you’re reading about this on a blog about urban forestry, but if you take a quick look at the cover of the guide, you’ll quickly see that trees and greenspace are an important part of creating healthy communities.   In the guide’s preface, Adewale Troutman – President of the American Public Health Association – and Georges Benjamin – Executive Director of the American Public Health Association – say, “There is an increasing recognition that the environments in which people live, work,...
  4. Change is Coming to Two California Communities

    Over the past few weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to work with some very dedicated people in two of California’s largest cities – San Diego and Stockton. It’s been amazing to see both what needs to be accomplished in these cities and how hard these individuals are working to make sure the work in done.   In Stockton, volunteers are facing an up-hill battle. Last year, the city declared bankruptcy. It has one of the highest homicide rates in the country. Trees are the least of this community’s worries. Yet, there is a group of citizens there who know that...
  5. Neighbors Rally at HBTS Event

    On August 24, a few volunteers met to plant ten trees in Burke Park in Huntington Beach. It turned out that the park, surrounded by a residential area, was the perfect spot for the Huntington Beach Tree Society to plant trees and educate volunteers about their importance.   Jean Nagy, the Tree Society’s Executive Director, explained, “When volunteers started planting early that morning, it seemed like the neighbors could not stay in their homes. So many of them just had to give a helping hand.”   The homeowners were thankful for the work done to beautify the park. What they...
  6. CA Cities Run the Gamut on ParkScore

    Last year, The Trust for Public Land began rating cities throughout the nation by their parks. The index, called ParkScore, ranks the largest 50 cities in the USA based equally on three factors: park access, park size, and services and investments. Seven California cities were included in this year’s index; their rankings, anywhere from third to last, show the disparity of green space among California’s largest cities. Cities with the highest scores can receive a rating of as many as five park benches on a scale of zero to five.   San Francisco – last year’s first place winner –...
  7. A Walk in the Woods

    Last week, I had to walk a few blocks to drop off some paperwork at a downtown office. It was a lovely day, but it was made even better because of the beautiful trees in Sacramento.   There were lots of people out and about – enjoying their lunch breaks, taking walks with friends and coworkers. I wondered to myself how many of these people would be enjoying the afternoon outside if these trees didn’t shade the sidewalks.   Each one of those people, myself included, was experiencing increased well-being simply by walking through their urban forest. A walk downtown...
  8. Greening Cities Can Support Economic Growth

    The United Nations (UN) has released a report showing that greening city urban infrastructure can sustain economic growth while using fewer natural resources. The report ‘City-Level Decoup-ling: Urban Resource Flows and the Governance of Infrastructure Transitions’ included thirty cases showing the benefits of having gone green. The report was compiled during 2011 by the International Resource Panel (IRP), which is hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The findings show that investing in sustainable infrastructures and resource-efficient technologies in cities offers an opportunity to deliver economic growth, with lower rates of environmental degradation, poverty reduction, lower greenhouse-gas emissions and improved...
  9. A Higher Purpose

      A tree can be many things: an air filter, a playground, a shade structure, a landmark. One of the highest purposes a tree can serve, though, is as a memorial.   Recently, through support from California ReLeaf, the Incredible Edible Community Garden (IECG) was able to plant 50 trees with such a purpose.   On March 23, trees were planted at the California State San Bernardino Veteran Success Center to honor and memorialize veterans past, present, and future. The Veteran Success Center provides programs and services that are unique to the needs of service members, including a room where...
  10. Making Urban Forestry Part of California’s Water Conversation

    Water can be a contentious issue in California’s communities. With resources becoming more limited and restrictions increasing, it’s important to make sure that urban forestry finds it’s place as one of the solutions Californians turn to to solve their water problems. Join us on Wednesday, May 15 from 11:00 a.m.-noon to hear from experts in the field and also hear case studies from an organization that has produced superior water conservation programs.   Speakers: Alf Brandt, Principle Consultant, California State Assembly Edith de Guzman, Research & Analysis Manager, TreePeople Deborah Weinstein, Director of Policy, TreePeople