I am writing this from my home, where I am focused on keeping things at Friends of Trees on an even keel while also juggling the complexities of life with family. I am feeling so very grateful for my wife who is a teacher and is caring for our 3 year old and 10 month old, Oliver and Opal, while I am able to work. The meaning of our community is shifting quickly, and yet it is still at our core. Like many of you, I’m worried about our community as we know it. It is my most sincere hope that all of you in the Friends of Trees family are well and are able to find some moments of peace and joy during these incredibly difficult times.
I am finding solace in our small walks around the neighborhood, seeing the trees we planted together, both this year and many years before, while waving at our neighbors from afar. We have been more observant of the small changes occurring daily in the trees and plants around us. It feels different, it feels weird, and yet it is grounding to be in fresh air and be reminded that community is all around us.
You won’t be surprised to hear that all of Friends of Trees’ April events are canceled, and the staff are working from home while the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is in place. While we hope that we’ll be able to plant at least some of the trees we would have planted in April in May, we don’t know anything for sure just yet. We’ll keep you posted.
What we do know is that we continue to plan for the future, for summer tree care and for next season’s tree planting events. As time passes we know that our community will need us to come together to plant trees, probably more than ever before, and we’ll be counting on you to join us however you are able. Longtime volunteer? We can’t wait to see you again! Never planted with us before but now you’re ready? Awesome, we look forward to sharing the amazing experience of community tree planting with you. Of course, we’ll need your financial support – and we need it now, too. If you’re in a position to make a donation, please consider donating to Friends of Trees today; your support will help us meet our current, primary goal: ensuring that our future includes trees + community.
Thank you for all of the encouraging messages we’ve received, for your support, and for coming together as a community to get through this. We can’t wait to plant trees with you again.
Interim Executive Director
above photo: Whitney is on the right
Trees are good for our health
Many of us are finding solace and even joy in nature right now. Walks in our neighborhood; time in our garden; images of nature in social media, documentaries, from our personal photos; participating in virtual tree walks (Yes, they happen! Video bottom right) — nature and trees are good for our health.
Here are some of our favorite videos that we hope bring you closer to nature and, through that, some solace and some joy.
Photos? We have loads of them! Here are a few albums from Flickr, sharing photos of some of last season’s events that have been canceled this season.
March 2019, NE Vancouver: 120 trees planted!
March 2019, Sandy River Delta: 1,200 trees & shrubs planted!
February 2018, West Eugene: 59 street & yard trees planted!
Shout Out to our planting event sponsors
Support from our business partners helps make it possible for us to plant more than 50,000 trees and native shrubs annually; we truly could not do this without their support. We want to give a special thank you to our business partners that sponsored planting events that were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we look forward to planting with you next season!
Friends of Trees is taking our region’s “Stay at Home” orders very seriously and as a result we have decided to pause all tree planting events for the time being. This means canceling all events through April (stay tuned for updates about May tree care events). We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience, and ask for your understanding. If you ordered a street or yard tree we will update you directly as soon as we have more information to share about when your tree will be planted, but please email us if you have any urgent questions about the tree you ordered.
We’re brokenhearted that we won’t be planting trees with you in the near future, but we have some great ways to stay connected!
March 30 (and every Monday): Species Day on social media. What tree will be featured? Hint, our mascot is related.
April 1 #WhyWednesday: Weather permitting we’ll host another virtual tree walk on Instagram at 2:30 p.m. and then at 3:00 p.m. on Facebook. Tune in every Wednesday!
April 2 #TreeTeamThursday: Meet an FOT staffer on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The April 2 Tree Team member will share a tree planting tip – and more!