At Friends of Trees, the end of a planting season always comes with a big exhale. With a season of events behind us, the trees are establishing themselves in the ground and treecipients are stepping into their roles as stewards.
As we pivot to inspections, pruning, and planning for next season, our team also reflects on what we’ve accomplished. We’re so grateful to all the volunteers, supporters, and partners who make it all possible. Now is the time to champion our shared successes and look forward to what we can accomplish together when we start planting again in October.
Now for some numbers!
Friends of Trees hosted 77 community planting events, plus many more workshops, tree care events, and private plantings.
More than 6,000 volunteers donated over 20,000 hours of their time toward these efforts.
Together, we planted 40,000 trees and native plants in our neighborhoods and natural areas, with thousands more receiving care, pruning, and maintenance.
“This season we were still grappling with the pandemic, but we recognized that people had a real desire to connect with their neighbors and community. There was such great energy at every community planting event I went to.”
-Yashar Vasef, Executive Director
The Eugene Branch
Another successful season in Eugene-Springfield!
Every event was full of eager smiles, familiar faces, and enthusiastic treecipients. “There’s nothing better than a fantastic day of planting with community members,” says Volunteer & Program Specialist Taylor Glass. “We had so many great events this year. It’s a great way to connect.”
The Eugene Branch has done so much to grow their program and expand their impact, and we wanted to report to you some of this season’s results.
Friends of Trees volunteers planted 524 trees at 12 events in Eugene and Springfield, and distributed 350 more at a tree give-away.
475 total volunteers donated over 1,500 hours of their time to these efforts. We have seen firsthand how planting and caring for trees increases community members’ engagement with the environment and participation in civic life.
We planted 86 different species of trees, many of which are climate resilient, to grow the diversity of our urban canopy.
In June 2021, the Pacific Northwest was embroiled in a heat dome effect, reaching high temperature records from Oregon to British Columbia. This week is Heat Week, which was created to help the community learn how to prepare their households for warmer summers and take action together to cool our neighborhoods. Friends of Trees is proud to be a part of this work, because trees provide a powerful cooling effect to communities.
Heat Week is a series of events organized to commemorate the historic Heat Dome, remember those who died due to disparities across our community, and bring together practitioners, professionals and community leaders to share information and resources across a range of heat and climate related topics. Heat Week kicked off on Sunday with an event at Leach Botanical Garden, where leaders and experts commemorated those who died during the extreme weather last year and made calls to address climate change
“Communities at this higher latitude are arguably the most underprepared for these kinds of events,”saysPortland State University Professor Vivek Shandas.“We saw that really bear down on us last year.”
“Shop” now, while trees are in their full glory, and plant later!
Now is when trees are in their full glory. You can see it, smell it, and feel it whenever you walk around the neighborhood. It’s not a good time to plant trees—we’ll wait until our planting season, October-April—but now is the time to be thinking about what tree you might want to plant. You can look for the species on a Friends of Trees tag!
A core aspect of the Friends of Trees ethos is right tree, right place. Beyond finding a tree whose glory really speaks to you, now is also a great time to think critically about the conditions where a particular tree can succeed. We want every tree to survive and thrive. If you see a tree you really like and think, maybe I want one of those, observe the place that it’s in. Consider the conditions: sunlight, moisture, competition, space. Compare those to the conditions in your own yard where you might want a tree.
“Thinking ahead is how we set up a tree and its steward—you—for success,” says Neighborhood Trees Senior Specialist Andrew Land. We always invite you to connect with staff about tree selection. And we encourage you to keep an open mind to something new and different. Glory is subjective, and there are so many factors beyond appearance.
Does your workplace engage in employee volunteer activities as a group? Yes? Consider joining Friends of Trees to plant or care for trees and natural areas near you! Contact Sam Erman, our Corporate & Business Relations Senior Specialist, at [email protected], or click here to learn more.
Friends of Trees inspires people to improve the world around them through a simple solution:Planting Trees. Together.