US Forest Service Chief Visits Urban Releaf

Date: Monday, August 20, 2012, 10:30am – 12:00pm

Location: 3268 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland, California

Hosted by: Urban Releaf

Contact: Joann Do, (510) 552-5369 cell,

US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell will be visiting Oakland on Monday,August 20, 2012 to view Urban Releaf’s greening and community building efforts.


Chief Tidwell will be awarding Urban Releaf with a $181,000 check of USDA Urban Community and Forestry funds to support our Green Street Research, Demonstration and Education Project as well as tree planting and maintenance throughout the city of Oakland.


Speakers for the ceremony include US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, Regional Forester Randy Moore, CALFIRE Director Ken Pimlott, City of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, and City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan.


In honor of Chief Tidwell’s visit, Urban Releaf will be hosting a tree planting at the location mentioned above with volunteers from the grassroots organization Causa Justa :: Just Cause.


Urban Releaf is an urban forestry non-profit 501(c)3 organization established in Oakland, California to address the needs of communities that have little to no greenery or tree canopy. We focus our efforts in underserved neighborhoods that suffer from a disproportionate environmental quality of life and economic depravity.


Urban Releaf is committed to the revitalization of their communities through tree planting and maintenance; environmental education and stewardship; and empowering residents to beautify their neighborhoods. Urban Releaf actively employs and trains at-risk youth as well as hard-to-hire adults.


The 31st Street Green Street Demonstration Project is located in the Hoover neighborhood in West Oakland, along two blocks between Market Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Way where tree canopy is currently non-existent. Dr. Xiao has developed innovative tree wells using special rocks and soil that save water in two ways: 1) the mix of red lava rock and soil helps retain storm water that would otherwise run off directly into the City’s storm drain, relieving burden off of the City’s infrastructure system in the future 2) trees and soil help filter out pollutants in storm water and prevent them from entering our precious Bay habitat. According to the Center for Urban Forest Research, trees in urban areas mitigate air pollution, beautify the neighborhood by adding greenery and shade, save on heating and cooling costs, build a sense of community, and provide opportunities for green job training — all in addition to saving water.


Project partners include the following: US Forest Service, California Releaf, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, CALFIRE, CA Department of Water Resources, City of Oakland Redevelopment Agency, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Odwalla Plant a Tree Program