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NerdWallet’s Top 4 Urban Forest Non-Profits in California

July 30, 2012
Personal Finance
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Trees line the streets of San Francisco, populating the city with various shades of green. While trees contribute aesthetic pleasure to otherwise dull cityscapes, they also support the ecosystem and are crucial to our existence. In order to preserve boutique urban environments in California, we must nurture and maintain urban forests.

At NerdWallet, we cherish our beautiful cityscape and admire organizations that sustain urban forests across the state. Here are our top 4 urban forest non-profits in California.

Friends of the Urban Forest: For lending a helping hand

Friends of the Urban Forest specialize in community planting, tree care, education, and advocacy. These folks obtain permits, remove concrete, provide tools, and purchase and deliver trees to any needy neighbor. Citizens across San Francisco call upon Friends of the Urban Forest for a helping hand. Friends of the Urban Forest volunteers work side-by-side with residents during the plantings and celebrate their work with a lunch upon completion. The Tree Care branch, a group of arborists, specializes in restoring street trees to inspire a vibrant, green community. Also, Friends of the Urban Forest offers youth education and volunteer opportunities to those who want to make San Francisco greener, one tree at a time.


Tree People: For exploring green innovations

Tree People, based in Los Angeles, is dedicated to planting and preserving the city’s leafy canopy. They inspire and support local citizens to take personal responsibility for the urban environment. The mission is beautiful in its simplicity: “help nature heal our cities.” The Citizen Arborist program educates the public on tree maintenance; topics include planting and caring for trees, tree anatomy and identification, pest and disease management, and more. Since many areas of LA are unsuitable for trees, Tree People is integrating technological advancements into the urban landscape, including permeable pavement, French drains, rain barrels, and cisterns. In order to expand the tree canopy over LA, Tree People aims to create a functioning community forest in every neighborhood.


Our City Forest: For inspiring community action

Our City Forest is more than an organization. It is an initiative to change the urban ecosystem in San Jose. They intend to cultivate a healthy, green metropolis by engaging community members in the appreciation, protection, growth, and maintenance of its urban ecosystem. In particular, sustaining urban forests is at the forefront of the movement. Our City Forest is responsible for planting 50,000 trees at schools, parks, and streets and boasts over 150,000 volunteers who participate in planting, tree care, and community education projects. Through grassroots environmental action efforts, Our City Forest hopes to maintain a cityscape covered in trees as far as the eye can see.


Canopy: For community involvement outreach

With only three staff members on hand, Canopy relies on continuing support from hundreds of volunteers. They plant, care for, and survey trees in the Palo Alto area to act upon a simple, yet pressing environmental duty: to maintain a healthy cityscape flush with trees. Canopy targets multiple facets of urban forest care, leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to maintain Palo Alto’s natural beauty. Board members educate the community on the importance of urban trees and inspire action from citizens young and old. The fitting motto, “it takes a village to raise a forest,” reinforces Canopy’s mission to promote a sustainable urban environment in the lush city of Palo Alto.


Healthy urban forests are integral to the environmental, economic, and social well being of our communities nationwide. That said, flourishing urban forests require community action. NerdWallet commends these non-profit organizations for changing cityscapes across California.