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. 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.                                                                              
  3. Welcome to Houston Park

    The underserved Houston neighborhood in Visalia had no public gathering places or recreational facilities. The new Houston Neighborhood Park, planted by Urban Tree Foundation in partnership with California ReLeaf, represents the hard work of numerous volunteers from the community coming together to create positive change in their neighborhood. More than 280 volunteers were on hand to make the park opening a success. Children were given an educational presentation about urban forests and the benefits of trees. Over 90 children in attendance were surveyed on their knowledge and opinions of trees. The Houston Neighborhood Park planting event planted 43 trees and...
  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. 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. 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...
  8. Urban Forestry Project Awards Announced

    NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:  Chuck Mills (916) 497-0035   URBAN FORESTRY PROJECT AWARDS ANNOUNCED     Sacramento, CA, July 24, 2013 – California ReLeaf announced today that community groups across the state will receive $34,000 in funding for tree care and tree planting projects through the California ReLeaf 2013 Urban Forestry and Education Grant Program.  Individual grants range from $1,600 to $5,000.   The grant recipients are engaging in a variety of tree planting and tree maintenance projects that will enhance urban forests in both highly utilized and severely underserved communities throughout the state.  Each project also contains...