1. 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...
  2. Lessons Learned in Pennsylvania

    By Keith McAleer   It was a pleasure to represent Tree Davis at this year’s Partners in Community Forestry National Conference in Pittsburgh (a big thank you to California ReLeaf for making my attendance possible!).  The annual Partners conference is a unique opportunity for non-profits, arborists, public agencies, scientists and other tree professionals to come together to network, collaborate, and learn about new research and best practices to bring home to help build more nature into our cities.   I had never been to Pittsburgh before, and was delighted by its beautiful fall color, mountains, rivers and rich history.  The...
  3. 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...
  4. Partnering to Protect the Bay Area’s Water

    California ReLeaf recently supported the recruitment and training of two interns for The Watershed Project’s Tree Team Project who will act as Richmond Rain to Roots program ambassadors in Richmond’s Iron Triangle and Sante Fe, two low-income, high-crime neighborhoods in the city.   Training for the interns included 20 hours of basic watershed awareness curriculum that included urban forestry concepts and benefits, climate change topics, storm water pollution and an introduction to green infrastructure solutions. An additional 16 hours was spent training them for the outreach portion of the program. The interns learned how to promote the tree-planting program both...
  5. San Bernardino Youth Renew Parks and Streets

    Southern California Mountains Foundation’s Urban Youth Tree Corp Project, funded through grants made possible by California ReLeaf, CAL FIRE, and the Environmental Protection Agency, was a very successful and effective effort to engage inner city, at-risk youth in urban tree care at the local parks and on the streets. 324 youths were recruited and trained through 32 environmental education, tree care, and urban forestry workshops through the project.   The focal point of the project was tree care and field education and experience for the Urban Conservation Corps (UCC). The Southern California Mountains Foundation provides a workforce development program that...
  6. California Needs Urban Forests

    Ask anyone and they’ll most likely tell you they love trees. California’s cities and towns need trees, but not just to beautify the landscape. Trees do so much more!   Click on the infographic below to visit a fully interactive version on our website. The next time someone asks you, “Why trees?” you’ll have some pretty great answers.  
  7. Inspiring Environmental Educator

    When California ReLeaf was awarded funding through the EPA’s Environmental Education Sub-Grant Program, the organization started looking for an environmental educator to work with us to develop grant guidelines and review grants proposals. ReLeaf was lucky enough to find Rue Mapp, founder of Outdoor Afro.   Since beginning its work with Rue last year, California ReLeaf has awarded grants to 25 nonprofit and community tree-planting groups throughout the state. Another nearly $40,000 is currently available to fund projects that create opportunities for environmental education through tree planting and tree care.   Rue Mapp has been a wonderful adviser to California...
  8. New Tree Tracking App and Webinar

    Plan-It Geo is officially releasing a new tree inventory app under “PG Online”, a web/mobile solutions service, titled the Tree Tracker Inventory App, and doing a promotion where the tool will be free the last 2 weeks of April for communities to map / inventory / track the trees planted during Earth Day. A no-cost webinar next Tuesday, April 9th will kick things off.  There’s a giveaway for a chance to win a 1-yr subscription of the inventory app (an $850 value)!   • Plan-It Geo is hosting a free webinar on Tuesday, April 9th (2pm ET / 11am PT)...
  9. Google Maps Engine for Nonprofits

    Has your organization been surveying your community’s forest? Would you like to start mapping that information? Google offers a great grant opportunity that might help!   Google Maps Engine is for organizations who have lots of raster and vector data and are excited to use the cloud-based infrastructure to store, process and publish this data. Set different access permissions for who can view, edit, or publish your map data. Click here to find out more about the engine.   Google Maps Engine Grants accounts include:   10GB Storage quota for raster and vector datasets 250,000 internal pageviews 10 Million external...