Mattie Reynolds Park was the perfect site for our MLK Day of Service.
Along with 17 new trees, a new park in the City of Eugene has great historical significance. Mattie Reynolds Park, the site of our January 18th Martin Luther King Jr Day of Service, honors one of Eugene’s founding Black families, Sam and Mattie Reynolds. The Reynolds’ fight for civil rights was one of their many important contributions to Eugene and the surrounding area, and adding trees to the park that bears their name seems a fitting MLK Day event.
Friends of Trees Eugene, and the City of Eugene, with sponsorship support from Mountain Rose Herbs, hosted the community tree planting event that added the new trees to Mattie Reynolds Park, along with planting 31 trees in surrounding neighborhoods.
The day’s featured speaker was Pastor Deleesa Meashintubby from St. Mark CME Church, the oldest African American church in Eugene. Also in attendance, along with many community volunteers, were Sam and Mattie Reynolds’ daughter and granddaughter. We’re honored to have played even a small role in helping establish this important tribute to the Reynolds family.
Photo: Community volunteers plant trees at Mattie Reynolds Park. Photo courtesy of Dean Walton.
Friends of Trees strives to plant and care for trees in a way that is equitable and inclusive. For Friends of Trees Eugene that means updating our processes and working with our partners to reach parts of town that are underserved and more diverse.
In the past, as Eugene Tree Foundation, plantings focused in the downtown core and in south Eugene where volunteers lived. When we became Friends of Trees in 2009, we immediately expanded our service area to Springfield and underserved parts of Eugene, beginning with three 2010 plantings in Trainsong, a historically underserved neighborhood.
In the past, trees weren’t necessarily planted where they were needed most – in underserved neighborhoods. In recent years the process was improved to include an equity lens in order to diversify planting locations, and as a result West Eugene, which is more diverse and historically underserved than other neighborhoods, has become a priority location for new street trees in Eugene. We also prioritize planting trees in Springfield, which, like West Eugene, is more diverse and historically underserved.
Friends of Trees Eugene’s Pruning Program also strives to deliver valuable tree care services in an equitable fashion, again, prioritizing West Eugene until it’s “caught up” in terms of trees pruned. We prune 250-300 trees every season, thanks to our City of Eugene partnership (which funds pruning for 200 trees) and community support from donors such as Sperry Tree Care–and thanks to the trained community pruners who volunteer to provide critical care to young trees.
Friends of Trees has partnered with the City of Eugene on pruning programs for nearly 30 years; in the summer of 2020 we began choosing our sites through an equity filter, with a much greater focus on work in west Eugene. We’re hopeful about the City of Eugene’s ability to invest further in community-based pruning, toward meeting our goal of pruning every tree we plant at least once, ideally twice. FOTE intends to build our community tree care program to do more good work in Eugene and Springfield’s underserved neighborhoods.
Interested in supporting tree planting and tree care in Eugene and Springfield? Look for volunteer opportunities here, and donate to Friends of Trees Eugene here – all donations from addresses in Lane County support our local office here. Thank you!
Photo: One of our first planting events in the Trainsong neighborhood, 2010.
In this time of uncertainty, there’s a fundamental truth that gives us hope: together we can do extraordinary things. Friends of Trees knows this so well since that’s what we do: We plant trees. Together. And to keep doing that, to ensure trees + community are in our future, we need your help – can we count on you, if you are able, to donate to Friends of Trees Eugene today? Not only will donations plant trees + grow community, the first $1,250 will be matched by our good friends at Journey Tree Financial – thank you!
Over the past few weeks and months, the entire world has been coming together to stand up, help out, give back, and heal. Whether that’s through donations to community organizations, celebrating doctors and nurses at shift changes, or reaching out to a neighbor to help with groceries, generosity has been helping the entire world get through this global pandemic. Together.
Friends of Trees Eugene is part of #GivingTuesdayNow and we invite you to join us. Giving Tuesday Now with the Eugene Tree Team is a virtual, day-long social media event featuring Tree Talks, LIVE tree walks, and more!
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with the Eugene Tree Team – virtually!
We’ll have tree talks and LIVE tree walks + talks on our Facebook and Instagram channels, and we’ll share some of the Portland Tree Team’s events, too! Join us for #EarthDay2020 !
Thank you to our #EarthDay2020 sponsors!
Happy tree month! National Arbor Day is April 24, while Oregon sets aside the first full week of April to celebrate trees, Washington celebrates on April 8, and Portland sets aside the entire month.
- Saturday, April 4: If you’re craving forests and open spaces, you can join us to replant a beautiful tributary to the Clackamas River as part of our Rock Creek Partnership with with SOLVE and the Clackamas River Basin Council, or head out to Forest Grove for a planting at beautiful Fernhill Wetlands.
- Wednesday, April 8: Celebrate Arbor Day in Vancouver at Marshall Community Park, when the city will commemorate 26 years as a Tree City USA, a national designation for excellence in urban forestry.
- Thursday, April 9: Save your grocery shopping for this day when Whole Foods Market will donate 5 percent of sales from all eight Portland-area stores to Friends of Trees!
Thursday, April 9: After you shop, join us for a community nature walk to discuss the trees of the Boise-Eliot neighborhood of Portland.
- Friday, April 10: Get a squirrels-eye view of downtown Portland’s trees by taking a free bucket truck ride in the SW Park Blocks with the City of Portland Urban Forestry division.
- Saturday, April 11: Head to the Portland Arbor Day Festival at the Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University and hear why Portland will once again be honored as a Tree City USA.
- Saturday, April 11: Join other volunteers to mulch and care for for recently planted trees at Kelly Butte Natural Area, or volunteer to plant trees in Tigard at Cook Park.
- Root for the Portland Timbers! For each goal the team scores, a tree is planted with Friends of Trees (happening all season).
- Monday, April 13: Join Oregon City to celebrate Arbor Day as we plant trees at Eastham School.
- Whole month: While you’re at it, you can support trees at the register of the adidas Timbers Team Store at Providence Park.
- Wednesday, April 15: Join Friends of Trees’ staff on a community tree walk in the Lents neighborhood of Portland.
Whole month: Stay at one of the three Provenance Hotels in Portland — Hotel Lucia, Hotel deLuxe and the Sentinel — and they’ll match your $5 donation to Friends of Trees.
- Saturday, April 18: Snag a FREE fruit tree for your yard at Friends of Trees’ annual Fruit Tree Giveaway.
- Saturday, April 18: Help us plant and care for trees to restore the wide open forests and wetlands of the Sandy River Delta Park in Troutdale.
- April 22-28: For all you knitting nuts, Knit Purl will donate 10 percent of proceeds from featured Earth-friendly products to Friends of Trees!
- April 25: Volunteer to help mulch young trees and shrubs at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Sherwood.
- April 25: Join Friends of Trees staff on a community tree walk in the Portsmouth neighborhood of Portland.
- Grab a pint of the Tree Line Pale Ale from Falling Sky Brewing Company in Eugene and the brewery will donate $1 to Friends of Trees – and they’ll donate $5 for every t-shirt they sell.
- Cheer for the Portland Trail Blazers—they’re planting three trees for each three-pointer scored through “Threes for Trees,” a partnership of the Trail Blazers, Daimler Trucks and Friends of Trees (happening all season long).
- Wednesdays in April: Woodlawn’s Be Here Now Yoga will donate proceeds from its noon Vinyasa for a Cause class to plant more trees!
- First week of April and May: 50% of the proceeds from the first week of classes at Sarita Vasquez Yoga will go to Friends of Trees!
We hope to see you this month, and thank you!