Our City Forest is one of 17 organizations statewide selected to receive funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which is being administered by California ReLeaf. Our City Forest’s mission is to cultivate a green and healthy San José metropolis by engaging community members in the appreciation, protection, growth and maintenance of our urban ecosystem, especially our urban forest.
The $750,000 grant to this San Jose-based non-profit will implement the initial phase of Our City Forest’s 100K Trees Project — an initiative to plant 100,000 trees throughout the city. Project work includes galvanizing citywide support, providing urban forestry outreach and education and creating a job training program for about 200 at-risk young people. In addition, the grant will support the planting of 4,000 trees and the pruning of an additional 4,000 trees.
Finally, the grant includes funding to assist the start up of a tree nursery where Our City Forest will soon begin cultivating up to 5,000 trees annually on donated land.
Fast Facts for the Our City Forest ARRA Grant
Jobs created: 21
Jobs Retained: 2
Trees Planted: 1,076
Trees Maintained: 3,323
Job Hours Contributed to 2010 Work Force: 11,440
Lasting legacy: Once completed, this project will have provided critical training in the green jobs sector for Bay Area at-risk youth while also creating a healthier, cleaner, and more livable environment for both San Jose residents and visitors.
In addition to helping low-income neighborhoods with such benefits as cleaner air and shade, the job training component of this program will ultimately impact the high unemployment rate in San José, where it remains at over 12 percent.
— Misty Mersich, Program Manager, Our City Forest.