DECEMBER 2023: SEASON IMPACT | EUGENE HIGHLIGHTS | GIFT TREES
OUR 35TH SEASON OF CLIMATE ACTION
A few weeks ago, a group of high schoolers from the Cascade Education Corps led three classes from CF Tigard Elementary in a natural area planting at Woodard Park. Before the students got to plant, our Green Space Specialist Kaitie asked the elementary schoolers a simple—and big—question: “Why are we here today?”
The kids were quick to answer. “Climate change!” “Oxygen” “Food for animals!” “To plant more trees than we take down.”
Already, these kids are becoming the next generation of environmental stewards. They recognize the benefits of trees and green spaces, from fighting climate change and providing habitat to cleaning our air and water. And they wanted to maximize their impact by planting as much as they could in a single class period.
At Friends of Trees, we know the feeling. How can we plant as much as possible? But it’s not all about the numbers. It’s about bringing people together. Like at our first ever neighborhood planting in Hillsboro, where residents were so excited to be adding trees to their community. Or in Vancouver last month, when we got to see a bunch of new Assistant Crew Leaders jump right into their first event. The tenured crew leaders will tell you that they always learn something from their new assistants.
Creating connections and growing knowledge are just as important as growing trees. This is what elevates our events from just plantings to real climate action.
It’s not about the numbers, but numbers are still a fun way to understand our collective impact! So far this season, with the help of more than1,000 volunteers, we’ve planted more than10,000 treesand native plantsat 23 public planting events.
35 planting seasons in and we’re still amazed by what we can accomplish together. We’re not even halfway through our planting season, so there’s still plenty of time to get in on the action! We can’t do it without you!
YOU CAN BE A PART OF THIS
We’ve seen such an inspiring growth of support for trees + community in recent years. More and more people recognize that trees and green spaces are a critical component of fighting climate change and making our communities more livable. Every supporter contributes to the growing possibilities.
“If you wanted to invent the most effective kind of climate management technology from the ground up, you could spend a lot of time trying to do that. You would just engineer a tree.”
-Brian Stone Jr., director of the Urban Climate Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
With your support, Friends of Trees will plant around 40,000 trees and native shrubs this season, uniting 3,000+ volunteers to improve their communities. These young trees will grow into climate superheroes. They’ll clean our air and water, absorb storm water and cool our cities by as much as 10 degrees. More and more, we’re focusing our efforts where trees are needed most, especially in the face of climate change.
You can help us meet our goals for this season and beyond! Together, we can build a more equitable urban forest.
Through the year-end, we have a $10,000 challenge from some generous anonymous donors. You can double your impact!
It’s our 35th season of planting and caring for trees – JOIN US!
We have so many awesome planting events for you this season! Whether it’s in a neighborhood or natural area, we would love your help building community with trees. It’s a great way to take climate action, and as a volunteer named Caela puts it, planting trees is the “best reason in the world to wear rubber pants and play in the mud!”
Here are some upcoming opportunities to get involved:
January 6, Pruning Workshop, Oregon City
January 13, Neighborhood planting, Vancouver
January 20th, Salmonberry Trail Plant Rescue, Banks
January 27th, Green Space Crew Leader Training, Tualatin
Crew Leaders and Assistants—watch your inbox for Crew Leader News on the first of the month! Trained Crew Leaders sign-up for events here.
THE EUGENE BRANCH
More climate action in Eugene and Springfield
The Eugene Branch just had its fourth planting event of the season yesterday morning! They’ve had two neighborhood plantings and two green space plantings in Eugene and Springfield, and have planted 235 trees and native plants alongside 141 volunteers.
“I had so much fun at the event I went to in Springfield, which is a high priority planting area,” Friends of Trees Executive Director Yashar Vasef said of his time planting at the Bob Straub Parkway last month.
“It was one of the wettest events I’ve ever been to, but people stuck around and made it fun. It was really great to see people come out with such energy and dedication.”
We have plenty more events to come in 2024, starting with a special planting in West Eugene on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 15th. We have a tree giveaway coming up in February and are planning some winter tree walks, so stay tuned to our calendar!
We can’t do this work alone. Every partnership represents a chance to exchange knowledge and build trust in the communities where we work. Together, we can connect people to efforts to improve their world. Beyond that, it’s just so fun to get to work with incredible people doing transformative work.
We’d love it if you supported our partners:
APANO unites Asians and Pacific Islanders to build power, develop leaders, and advance equity through organizing, advocacy, community development, and cultural work.
Depave empowers disenfranchised communities to overcome social and environmental injustices and adapt to climate change through transforming over-paved places and urban re-greening.
The Blueprint Foundation aims to eliminate the opportunity gap for Black youth by introducing them to and preparing them for careers where black-identified individuals are currently underrepresented.
Wisdom of the Elders records, preserves and shares Native American oral history, cultural arts, language and traditional ecological knowledge.
POIC + RAHS provides at-risk youth and adults with quality services in education, mentoring, family outreach, employment training, and placement.
With our incredible network of partners, we are building landscapes and lives through youth environmental internships, adult urban forestry career training, tree planting for low-canopy neighborhoods, and so much more.
Still looking for a holiday present for a loved one? How about a tree planted in their honor! Gift trees are a lasting legacy that honor or remember loved ones while improving our environment. All Gift Trees are planted through our Green Space Program, which restores sensitive natural areas in our region.
You will be able to choose the certificate you prefer, edit it, print it, and give it or mail it directly to your Gift Tree recipient. Thank you for supporting trees + community through the gift of trees.