PGE-Friends of Trees partnership helps youth tackle climate change
Friends of Trees has been partnering with Portland General Electric since 1989 and we would not be where we are today without their support. This is just one reason we are thrilled to partner with the PGE Foundation on Project Zero, a social impact program responding to youth and young adults calling for action on climate change and their desire to be part of the solution.
“Environmental stewardship is one of PGE Project Zero’s core components; with equity as a large driver, we knew that a strategic partnership with Friends of Trees would be integral in reducing the negative health impacts of climate change on low-income communities, Indigenous populations and communities of color,” explains Taaj Armstrong, PGE Dean of Cohort. “We were also thrilled that Friends of Trees is a partner in PGE Project Zero Works, helping to design the green jobs internship program, and hosting a PGE Project Zero intern, which has been wildly successful.”
With three main goals of Education, Workforce Development, and Environmental Stewardship, young adults are connected to a six month paid internship at one of five local nonprofits. Throughout the program participants are provided mentorship by a champion within PGE and within the nonprofit.
Friends of Trees is lucky to have been matched with Hugo Moreno who shares that he learned about the program through a career coach his mother is working with at Latino Network. Having moved from Mexico City just two years ago, Hugo has jumped into work with Friends of Trees with enthusiasm and curiosity. He is thrilled to be working with a team and is currently gaining skills in tree care, pruning, and community outreach.
The Big Leaf Maple is by far Hugo’s favorite tree today, but says he may have another favorite soon. Hugo shares an unexpected result of interning with Friends of Trees, “When I wear the Tree Team t-shirt out I’m surprised by the attention I get! People are always so positive when I tell them I’m working with Friends of Trees.”
Mini Sharma Ogle, Senior Environmental Specialist-Archaeologist, is Hugo’s mentor at PGE. When Mini was asked why she chose to participate in the program, she shared, “This is a win-win for everyone, especially during a time when we are all so divided. We all have something to gain. As an immigrant that came to the United States for grad school, I remember it can be daunting to know how to navigate the workplace. I want to share what I can with Hugo to help him feel prepared and successful.”
As part of his internship Hugo coordinated a tree planting event at Gresham’s Nadaka Nature Park; Hugo and other Project Zero interns, along with their PGE Champions, planted 300 native trees and shrubs. Organizing this project has helped Hugo build skills in problem solving, overcoming obstacles, scheduling, project management, and communication between partners.
This is the first program year for this project and we look forward to growing this program – and our efforts fighting climate change – with PGE as a partner.
Photo above: Project Zero participant & Friends of Trees intern Hugo Moreno at the Nadaka Nature Park planting event he coordinated.
Photo left: PGE Project Zero planters at Nadaka Nature Park.
Get to Know Greening Gresham
Gresham needs more urban tree canopy. Community members want trees along their streets and in their parks – benefiting today’s neighbors and future generations.
Friends of Trees has planted on and off in Gresham since 2007, but since 2015 increased focus has provided new opportunities for community engagement, resulting in thousands of new trees being planted in both natural areas and along city streets. Through the Green Gresham, Healthy Gresham initiative, community members have planted more than 250 neighborhood trees that will shade streets and sidewalks; clean the air through capturing particulate matter such as dust and soot; and help protect waterways through capturing stormwater runoff.
“Prior to the Green Gresham, Healthy Gresham project there was no organized effort in Gresham to plant street trees. Thanks to the partnership with the City of Gresham and Friends of Trees, and Friends of Trees’ considerable knowledge and capacity, we have been able to jump-start tree planting while also providing meaningful job opportunities for young people.Our goal is to ensure that the most diverse neighborhoods, places that have historically received the fewest resources, have a healthy and growing tree canopy for decades to come.” -John Wasiutynski, Director, Multnomah County Office of Sustainability
Tina Osterink, City of Gresham Natural Resources Planner, shares what Gresham values about this partnership, “Our partnership with Friends of Trees has helped transform our tree-deficient neighborhoods with new trees that will improve air quality and health outcomes for local residentsand strengthen our overall community identity for years to come. We are so grateful to have forged this long-lasting partnership with such caring, thoughtful and inspirational green industry stewards.”
In addition to street trees, we’re increasing our work at natural areas sites such as Nadaka Nature Park and Kelly Creek Condo Association. We have planted thousands of native trees and plants to help these critical natural spaces thrive. This work is more important than ever as community members seek greater access to safe and healthy outdoor spaces.
Recently at a planting at Nadaka Nature Park some employees from Boise Paper Company assembled as a group for the first time since March to volunteer – masked and socially distant, of course. Planters left with smiles on their faces and memories of making a difference through planting trees, together.
Photo above: Happy planter at a Nadaka Nature Park event last season.
THE EUGENE BRANCH
News from Friends of Trees Eugene
It’s MULCH TIME!
It’s usually easy to spot a Friends of Trees tree with its tree stakes, twine, tree tag sticker, and a lovely caldera of mulch around the base of the trunk. This wreath or nest of wood chips encompassing the tree provides many benefits for the newly planted tree and the soil that surrounds it.
Mulch can be made of many different organic or inorganic materials. We recommend utilizing wood chips, bark, leaves, or a combination! Wood chips prove to be one of the most long lasting natural materials you can use to mulch your new trees with. As it does break down over time, additional mulch may be needed after a year or more while the tree is in its establishment years.
One of the most common treesentments (tree resentments) we hear about this time of year is “leaf litter”. Each fall, as deciduous trees change colors and start their descent into their dormant season, they shed their leaves. This provides a natural layer of mulch for trees, shrubs, and other plants. While many rake up all the leaves in their yard, we encourage folks to try leaving some leaves behind to help maintain moisture and provide nutrients as they quickly break down over the winter. Leaves can easily be raked into a caldera around trees, into shrub beds, or composted on site for awesome future soil.
Here at Friends of Trees Eugene Metro we are lucky and fortunate enough to be close friends with not only trees, but the arborists that work with them in town. Thanks to our friends at GreenTree Arborists, who have helped provide many a mulch pile for our events this year!
We are also grateful to our lovely volunteers Linda, Tom, Michele, and Jim who have been a treemendous help mulching at our planting events over the past few seasons. Tom even kept busy through this summer helping mulch past projects!
If you would like to help mulch this planting season and/or if you have a truck that you can use to help out with mulching or planting, check out our Volunteer web page to sign up!
Stay connected! Visit, like, follow and engage with the Eugene Tree Team on ourFacebookandInstagrampages.
Photo: Planting volunteer Cedar showing off a lovely caldera of mulch.
Give!Guide Season is almost here!
Willamette Week’s Give!Guideruns November 1 through December 31st and is a great way to learn about organizations that are doing amazing work on behalf of people, places, critters and causes (including trees + community, of course ;). G!G featuresBig Give Dayswhen donors are entered to win fabulous incentives like shopping sprees, vacation packages, and more.
G!G donors to Friends of Trees also get delicious incentives from our generous partners! The first 300, $10+ donors get a free slice from HOTLIPS Pizzaand a pint of beer atLevel Beer.
The first big Give Day is November 5, all $10+ G!G donors will be entered to win a $500 shopping spree atPatagonia Portland– mark your calendar and THANK YOU!
CHEERS FOR TREES
It’s holiday shopping time! Dobbes Family Estate is donating 10% of proceeds from their 2019 Elements Grenache Blanc to Friends of Trees for more Trees + Community! Available while supplies last from Dobbes Family Estate. Salud!
Learn More: Milagro Theater
Friends of Trees began our relationship with Milagro Theater back in 2008 when we planted street trees at the theater to help green the inner industrial area of SE Portland. The trees are thriving and over the past five years we have grown our partnership, which includes Milagro’s support delivering school based education around the importance of city trees.
Thank you, new and veteran Crew Leaders! As you may know by now, our volunteer planting events are a bit different this season in order to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distance. One result of smaller events is that we don’t need this space this month to put out a call for volunteers, so instead we’re taking a moment to give a giant shout-out to our Crew Leaders.
Volunteers continue to be the lifeblood of this organization. Our hats are tipped to the more than 140 new Planting Crew Leaders who trained online in the last two weeks. They are joining hundreds of experienced Crew Leaders to plant many thousands of trees in the next six months!
Whether you’re a new, veteran, or future Crew Leader, we’re grateful for all you give. Here’s a taste of some fun feedback we received from the new online training:
Overall the training was superb! This is the best and most concise training I have actually had while in this pandemic (maybe ever?). Very well done all of you!
I really appreciated the videos with step by steps on how to plant the different types of trees. It was useful as a visual learner.
I enjoyed that you touched on the reasoning why you should tell your pronouns, environmental justice, and the benefits of trees.
I recommended your equity training sheet on how to handle prejudice to everyone!
Thank you for putting this together! Can’t wait to start planting 🙂
OTHER WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
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