This summer in California we’ve already experienced record-breaking heatwaves and are ready for some relief. Since this is Feel Good Friday, it’s coming in the form of urban forests with California ReLeaf.
California ReLeaf is “to empower grassroots efforts and build strategic partnerships that preserve, protect and enhance California’s urban and community forests.” Why, you ask? Trees are important, especially in a drought-prone state like California. They provide shade for the landscape, reducing water needs, and help keep your home cool. They also improve air quality and reduce soil erosion.
That’s why California ReLeaf promotes alliances with “community-based groups, individuals, industry, and government agencies, encouraging each to contribute to the livability of our cities and the protection of our environment by planting and caring for trees.” Two of the groups they’ve partnered with have been featured in previous FGF posts: San Francisco based Friends of the Urban Forest and Sacramento Tree Foundation.
California ReLeaf programs include: educational outreach and resources to teach us all about trees, Arbor Week celebrations in March, legislative advocacy to raise visibility of urban forestry, and pass-through grants for community-based organizations. California ReLeaf helps smaller organizations meet prohibitive public funding requirements and provides technical assistance to their projects.
Since their founding, California ReLeaf has supported “hundreds of non-governmental organizations and local municipalities in more than 820 projects that have planted and cared for nearly 200,000 trees, engaged thousands of volunteers, and leveraged more than $9 million in matching funds.”
If you’d like to find and support an organization focused on trees in your community, search on this map. To support California ReLeaf you can make a donation and keep in touch on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Instagram @calreleaf and Twitter @CalReLeaf.