1. 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.
  2. 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...
  3. Governor’s Budget Directs Millions for Local Projects

    Just over a year ago, California ReLeaf staked 100% of its public policy agenda on the idea that cap and trade auction revenues were the very best opportunity to breathe new life into CAL FIRE’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, which allocated its last remaining project bond funds in March 2013.  In other words, we went “all-in” on cap and trade.   Today, Governor Brown released a proposed 2014-15 State Budget that directs $50 million in auction revenues to CAL FIRE with a significant portion directed to support urban forestry projects that help meet the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse...
  4. Connecting, Sharing, and Learning – Be Active in Your Networks

    By Joe Liszewski   Over the past several weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to attend and participate in several conferences and meetings, most notably the National Partners in Community Forestry Conference and the California Association of Nonprofits Annual Policy Convention.  These meetings were an opportunity to connect and learn from my peers in both our field of urban and community forestry and the nonprofit sector.  It’s often difficult to step away from our day-to-day responsibilities to attend these types of meeting and learning opportunities, but I firmly believe that we must make the time and prioritize being an engaged and...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. Fallen Trees Drive Study

    In June, Minnesota was bombarded by storms. High winds and heavy rains meant that there were many felled trees by the end of the month. Now, University of Minnesota researchers are taking a crash course in treefall.   These researchers are scrambling to to document patterns that might reveal why some trees fell and other didn’t. They want to know if urban infrastructure – sidewalks, sewer lines, streets, and other public works projects – has effected the rate at which urban trees fall.   For an in-depth report of how this study will be conducted, you can read an article...
  8. 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...
  9. 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...
  10. 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...