December 20, 2007
Citizen foresters around the country are working to make communities more livable for us all. ACT members, in particular, are on the cutting edge of emerging issues, working with government and business on SmartGrowth initiatives, engaging citizens to transform communities, and promoting workforce development in minority communities. One thing they all have in common is that they all started from the ground floor.
Starting a Tree Group & Operating Sustainably Resource List
Marcia Bansley, Executive Director, Trees Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
Trees Atlanta was established in 1985 to improve the green space in downtown Atlanta. Its original focus was on planting large street trees in the downtown area. In the 1990s, Trees Atlanta made a major program shift to support greening throughout Atlanta’s neighborhoods. From April though September, volunteers provide follow-up care for trees planted in previous years. Approximately 3,000 volunteers plant and maintain 1,500 trees annually. These volunteers donate about 5,000 hours each year.
Anna Dooley, Executive Director, Greenscape of Jacksonville (Jacksonville, FL)
Greenscape of Jacksonville was started in 1975 by a small group of citizens. The first project focused on the downtown area. That year, collaborating with the City of Jacksonville through the Jacksonville Downtown Development Authority, Greenscape planted 250 commemorative trees along downtown sidewalks. Gradually the organization directed its focus outward from the city center, sharing responsibility for tree planting with interested neighborhood and community groups. Today Greenscape has placed over 150,000 trees in Jacksonville and over $1 million in state funding has been awarded through FDOT Highway Beautification Programs.
Brown Bag attendees will learn:
* How these organizations grew from a small to large organization.
* If a major program shift was required.
* Creating a board and network of partners.
* Harnessing volunteers as repeat customers.
* Funding the operation and making it sustainable.
About the Brown Bag Lunch Series
The Brown Bag Lunch Series is a monthly webcast held at the lunch hour and made possible through support from The Home Depot Foundation. The overall goal is to create informal training opportunities for local urban and community forestry organizations. The series is geared to mainly serve the needs of volunteer organizations and community groups. While the webcasts are open to all, the content is most likely to be of interest to practitioners who work directly with the public, volunteers, or youth.
The trainings leverage local successes by amplifying to a larger audience the model organizations’ methods, materials, and approaches. Sessions are planned to last no more than one hour, with two presenters speaking on the same topic from slightly different perspectives, each for 10-15 minutes, followed by 10-15 minutes of questions and answers.