Building community through tree planting is a core value of Friends of Trees, and has been since the beginning.
Friends of Trees founder Richard Seidman’s initial goal was to build stronger communities in neighborhoods. He hoped that tree planting would offer a way for neighbors to meet each other, start conversations, and build lasting relationships, weaving a connective fabric through the neighborhood.
And it works! Every tree-planting event builds community, as experienced by volunteers old & new, homeowners getting a Friends of Trees tree, and the Friends of Trees staff. People often comment that they say hello now when they pass their neighbor’s house and admire the growing tree that they helped plant. So here at Friends of Trees, we know that, when planted the Friends of Trees way, trees grow community.
In addition to our anecdotal evidence, scientific research demonstrates that green spaces in urban areas influence social cohesion by providing a meeting place where people develop and maintain neighborhood ties
Trees and urban greenery not only enhance the ability of residential neighborhoods to build community, they also positively contribute to our business districts—trees mean business! Studies indicate that shoppers prefer to spend more time in canopied business districts and perceive merchants in those districts more positively than merchants in districts with fewer trees. This ultimately results in wider community networks encompassing not just where we live, but also where we work, shop, and play.
Richard Seidman hoped that trees might not only help us build community in our surrounding neighborhood and city, but also help connect us to trees around the world, truly expanding our community,
“I felt that society was in a collective state of denial about the destructiveness to the environment of our economy and our culture. I thought getting together to do a tree-planting in a city would be a positive step. … I believed that if people could learn to empathize with the tree in front of their house, they’d be capable of valuing trees in forests all over the world.” Richard Seidman, founder
Want to learn more about the benefits of trees?
Did you know …
- Green spaces in urban areas have been shown to influence social cohesion by providing a meeting place where people develop and maintain neighborhood ties.
- The more people volunteer, the happier they are. Volunteering builds empathy, strengthens social bonds and makes you smile.
- Volunteering leads to better health … those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.