Green Up San Francisco

(San Francisco, CA) For 25 years, Friends of the Urban Forest has been working to make tree planting more affordable and desirable in San Francisco’s underserved neighborhoods where the environmental, social, and economic benefits of trees are most needed.


Category: Community Development
Overview
Normally, a two-inch caliper tree in San Francisco costs $150. Price alone is enough of an obstacle in some communities, to hamper revitalization efforts. Friends of the Urban Forest works with community development corporations, local government offices, and charitable individuals, businesses, and foundations to help offset this cost for trees to be planted in underserved neighborhoods.
Some of the communities that have recently benefited from Friends of the Urban Forest’s work include:
* Bayview-Hunters Point, District 10
* Potrero Hill, District 10
* Visitacion Valley and Excelsior, District 11
* Mission District, District 9
* Sunset District, District 4
* South of Market, District 6
Background
Increased tree coverage achieved through community-led tree plantings can improve the air quality, calm traffic, reduce noise, reduce crime and violence, build community relations and pride, relieve symptoms of some childhood diseases such as ADD, and improve school performance in young children.
Community involvement is at the heart of Friends of the Urban Forest’s tree planting and tree care programs, relying on community-based volunteer participation. Friends of the Urban Forest brings communities together, empowering them to improve and care for the health of the natural landscape and their neighbors.
Components
Friends of the Urban Forest partners with the Mayor’s Office of Community Development to provide financial and programmatic support through assisted community outreach. Often the Mayor himself is directly involved with tree-plantings.
Other critical partners are neighborhood associations and organizations. These include civic organizations, senior groups, educational groups, parks groups, neighborhood watch groups, and numerous others. These groups assist with outreach to organize plantings, planting trees, recruiting and providing volunteers, providing transport for the trees and equipment and locations to house the trees prior to the plantings, and organizing the post-planting potlucks.
Results
* Planted 175 trees (including staking/ties to hold each tree up as it takes root).
* Engaged and trained 600 volunteers (and provided educational materials to ensure proper tree maintenance).
Lessons Learned
1. Partner with the mayor.
2. Partner with neighborhood associations and organizations.
Contact Information:
Kelly Quirke
Executive Director
Friends of the Urban Forest
Presidio of San Francisco, Building 1007
P.O. Box 29456
San Francisco, CA 94129
Phone: 415-561-6890
Fax: 415-561-6899