Friends of Trees

March 2021: The power of partnerships | Tree walks + more for Earth Month

TREEMAIL: News from Friends of Trees

The Power of Partnerships

What started as a group of neighbors planting trees together 32 years ago has grown into a true community-based organization engaged in a wide variety of partnerships. Friends of Trees’ partnerships contribute to environmental education for K-12 students; adult job training programs; paid internships connecting underserved communities to the urban forestry field; greening low canopy neighborhoods; and so much more.

“Thank you for letting us come and plant with you, it was a GREAT experience. I learned that planting trees keeps us healthy and alive. It was a great opportunity to learn and also to be outside.”

Kara, 4th grade

“American children now spend an average of only four to seven minutes per day playing outdoors, compared with over seven hours per day in front of a screen.” 1 That alone justifies our work with more than 2,000 young people in a typical season.

Friends of Trees’ educational programming actively and meaningfully connects youth of all ages with nature. We’re in the classroom with information about the benefits of trees, and we’re outside, actively planting and caring for trees with young people. Our work with high school students includes leadership skill building and job training through paid internships.

1 National Recreation and Park Association

Photo: Rosemary Anderson HS POIC students at a recent planting event


In honor of Earth Day and Arbor Day (and Oregon’s newly declared Arbor Month!), and in celebration of all we do together to make our world greener and healthier for all, Friends of Trees is hosting a virtual, month-long celebration on our social media channels—it’s EARTH MONTH WITH THE TREE TEAM!

Tune in on our social media channels throughout April for LIVE tree talks, tree walks, and more. Plus, you can help us keep planting trees + growing community through donating to our $25,000 Earth Month Challenge! A pool of generous donors will match all individual donations up to $25,000, donate here!

Here’s a tidbit from Earth Day 2020 to give you an idea of the tree-mendous month we have in store for you.

The Earth Month 2021 calendar of events is here, we look forward to celebrating with you!

The Eugene Branch


Campus ReLeaf partnership engages UO students to plant trees + grow community

The streets around the University of Oregon are cooler, safer and greener thanks to the hundreds of trees planted through an ongoing community partnership between Friends of Trees Eugene and UO’s Holden Center.

Every season 40-50 student volunteers from the Holden Center join FOTE during Earth Week for a UO Day of Service, planting and caring for street trees in neighborhoods filled with UO student rentals—they’re literally greening their own backyards! (OK, front yards 😉 The student volunteers help plant 50 trees every year during this event, along with helping to care for previously planted trees.

“I’m really excited that these trees are near campus, so I can watch these trees I helped plant grow.”

-Dayton, Holden Center FOTE volunteer

An added bonus of this partnership is that many of these trees play a role in how we consider climate change when choosing trees to plant. Read more.

Photo: UO Holden Center student volunteers at a FOTE UO Day of Service planting, April 2017

One Year


Planting trees during a global pandemic … let’s just say we really miss the pre-COVID days. COVID-era events have no coffee & donuts in the morning; no post-planting potlucks; no community spaces buzzing with the energy of more than 100 volunteers; no fields filled with dozens of volunteers young and old, getting wet & muddy putting seedlings into the ground.

The most glaring omission, of course, is you: we’ve only been able to engage a tiny fraction of the more than 6,000 community volunteers who come out to plant trees in a “normal” season.

But we have come together—masked and socially distant in small groups, going through gallons of hand sanitizer, and our tools have never been cleaner!—and we still planted trees. Friends of Trees’ staff and core volunteers have gone above and beyond to plant 15,000 trees and native shrubs this season; we’re exhausted, but we did it! Check out the May and December 2020 Treemails for a little insight into just how we did it.

We know that in the midst of so much loss and sorrow that so many people have experienced these past 12 months, the challenges of tree planting are nothing. We are eternally grateful for your support during this time, which has been key to our ability to continue to share the joy and health and beauty of trees with our community.

Reflections on the past 12 months, from Deputy Director Whitney Dorer:

Empty campus

Lines of trees

Walking to feel grounded

Listening to the buzzing bees

Watching, waiting, wondering

Wishing to be away from the screens

Asking a neighbor what they need

Feeling grateful for our mighty and majestic tree team

Get Involved

Join us as we mulch hundreds of native trees and shrubs that were planted this past winter! Our Tree Care events help ensure the highest level of plant survival through the dry summer months! Please note there will be no planting at these events:

Thursday April 22: Happy Valley

Saturday April 25: SE Portland

Please check the volunteer events calendar for details.

April 1 – 30: Join us, virtually, as we livestream tree walks + tree talks all month-long in celebration of Earth Month. The full calendar of events is here, we look forward to tree-walking with you!

Be sure to check the social media channels the morning of live events to confirm.



Friends of Trees inspires people to improve the natural

world around them through a simple solution:

Planting Trees. Together.

(503) 282-8846: Portland office

(541) 632-3683: Eugene office

Learn more about how Friends of Trees greens our region + grows community through checking out other issues of Treemail here