Sacramento Tree Foundation

The Sacramento Tree Foundation is a community benefit organization working to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation.

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Address: 191 Lathrop Way Suite D
Sacramento, CA 95815
County or Parish: Sacramento
Executive Director: Ray Tretheway
Contact Email:
Primary Phone: 916-924-8733
Founded in 1982, the Sacramento Tree Foundation is the leading regional source for high-quality education and outreach programs that empower the public to understand the importance of trees and then to act by improving their own communities. Our programs focus on caring for and growing our urban forest and much of their power comes from engaging citizens to learn about the environment in which they live and to become active in their schools, neighborhoods, and communities.

Thirty-six years ago, the Sacramento Tree Foundation held the humble goal of planting one tree a day. In the intervening years, the Tree Foundation's goal grew from planting one million trees in Sacramento by 2000 to today's ambitious goal of planting five million new trees in the greater Sacramento region.

Today's life-changing goals came about through a partnership with the region's 22 cities and five counties dubbed the Greenprint initiative. With the Tree Foundation in the lead, a road map was created for managing public trees, adopting tree policies and ordinances, and mobilizing and empowering community partners and volunteers. Working to improve the quality of life of the entire region, the Greenprint initive now includes Sacramento, Yolo, Sutter, Yuba, Place and El Dorado counties.

Looking at our substantial tree canopy today, few would guess that our six county region had few trees prior to 1850. Our historic landscape was one of marshes and grasslands, with just a narrow ribbon of trees along our rivers and waterways. Today our region has over 7 million trees, however, the average canopy cover is a mere 17%. For every existing tree in the region there are two spaces without trees. We are dedicated to reaching the widest audience possible in order to share the many linkages between an abundant, healthy, urban forest and the quality of life in our region and our planet. Growing scientific evidence highlights the public health benefits of neighborhood trees and green spaces. Trees have a powerful impact on air quality, climate change, energy conservation, water quality, economy, comfort, habitat and public health. Only by achieving maximum tree canopy cover throughout the region can we capture and optimize the remarkable benefits of trees. By educating and engaging citizens from all walks of life and from all neighborhoods, we can enhance the health and livability of our community with the benefits of a thriving urban forest.
We envision a time when tree canopy considerations are an integral part of the development and improvement of all neighborhoods throughout the greater Sacramento region. We are dedicated to reaching the widest audience possible in order to share the many linkages between an abundant, healthy urban forest and the quality of life in our region and our planet.

Neighborhoods with abundant tree canopy have a powerful impact on air quality, climate change, energy conservation, water quality, economy, comfort, habitat, and public health. Only by achieving maximum tree cover throughout our region can we capture and optimize the remarkable benefits of trees.

The regional framework to grow and manage the best urban forest, Greenprint, will continue to guide the growth of, and investments in, urban forest initiatives. We will make great strides in achieving the goal to plant and steward 5 million new trees region-wide. One million of these trees are targeted for under-resourced, low tree canopy neighborhoods. Four million trees are targeted for our development community to meet the needs of the anticipated 290,000 new homes and neighborhoods in our region by 2035.

Here at the Sacramento Tree Foundation, we will work beside you and our community to create the legacy of Sacramento's urban canopy. Together we will collect the acorns every fall and we will teach the young generations how an acorn can grow into a beautiful tree. Together we will plant in parks, residents and under-resourced neighborhoods. We will monitor trees to insure our canopy stays strong and healthy. With your help, together we will can plant 5 million trees.

Our top needs:
  1. Funding: Unrestricted - Consider putting your donation to a membership with us! Become a member of the Sacramento Tree Foundation and get directly involved in creating a better community to live, work and play. Your gift will strengthen our resources, allowing us to recruit and train more volunteers, educate more people on the benefits of trees and our urban forest and, ultimately, plant more trees. PERSONAL MEMBERSHIPS Crape Myrtle - $50 Annual Membership Japanese Maple - $100 Annual Membership Chinese Pistache - $250 Annual Membership Autumn Gold Ginkgo - $500 Annual Membership Valley Oak - $1000+ Annual Membership
  2. Funding: Program - Save The Elms Program (STEP): The majestic American and English elm trees are the dominant, most historical and visible of Sacramento's trees. Elms represent a remarkable legacy spanning generations; many of our elms are over 100 years old and climb as high as 130 feet into the city sky line. But they've been in trouble for a while. Dutch elm disease (DED), a fungal disease with no known cure, has been plaguing these elms since the 1990s. The disease continues to ravage our elm population, a problem only exasperated by the five-year drought. The Sacramento Tree Foundation believes our elm canopy is critical to Sacramento's urban forest history and community priorities. We are working with the City of Sacramento to develop a corps of volunteer citizen scientists to monitor the remaining public elm trees in order to slow the spread of DED. This is our second summer of monitoring our Sacramento elms. This year has been more successful than ever! This summer we: • Trained 100 volunteer STEP Citizen Scientists. • Monitored over 1,400 public American and English elms within the City of Sacramento for DED with continual monitoring though October. • Found 14 elms with confirmed cases of DED with the help of our STEP Citizen Scientists, preventing this disease from spreading to nearby elms.
  3. Funding: Program - NeighborWoods: We've been working to bring our innovative NeighborWoods Program to undeserved neighborhoods, such as South Sacramento. Between now and 2019, our goal is to plant approximately 3,000 new trees on public and private land within the 95823, 95824, 95828 zip codes optimizing the many benefits of a large, diverse, and healthy tree canopy. To do this effectively we will have to become part of the community, increasing our outreach through discussions with engaged citizens, neighborhood associations, and partnerships with community based organizations. This outreach will create opportunities for planting projects and tree education for community members.
  4. In-Kind Donations - Wish List: Gloves Hard hats Safety glasses 3-wheeled or cargo bicycle Picnic tables Large decorative boulders Electric circular saw Electric drill Post pounders Shovels (kid and adult size) Bicycles Root daggers Hand-pruners Loppers Retractable hand saws Burlap squares or small tarps Post puller for removing rebar and t-posts Industrial-grade steel wagon, 1400+lb capactity Used 4-wheel drive truck (less than 50,000 miles) Your generosity is greatly appreciated!
  5. Volunteers - Volunteers are interrelate to the work that the Sacramento Tree Foundation does. Without the support of volunteers, we would not have planted over a million trees to date. No experience is necessary; all training and tools will be provided on-site, and all ages are welcome. We have have volunteer events nearly every Saturday in a variety of locations throughout the region. Become a STEP Citizen Scientist! (May-September) Interested in helping the Sacramento Tree Foundation and the City of Sacramento identify elm trees that may be infected by Dutch Elm Disease? STEP citizen scientists will help us spot unhealthy trees by adopting elm trees on public property and committing to visually monitoring these elms throughout the summer. Become a Planting Volunteer! (November-April) In the winter season, you'll find us planting native trees, shrubs and grasses at our various restoration sites across our six-county region. Help us get native vegetation in the ground and off to a good start. Become a Community Planting Leader! (Year-round) As part of our team of Community Planting Leaders (CPLs), you will engage and manage volunteers in tree planting and stewardship projects at parks, schools, residential homes, and/or open space across Sacramento. Checkout our website for even more volunteer opportunities!
In 1981, a group of visionaries came together to form an organization dedicated to planting and protecting Sacramento's trees. The urgency to establish a regional "voice for the trees" was very real: the city and county's ability to care for public trees was being curtailed by shrinking budgets, threatening one of the area's greatest assets. Meanwhile, patterns of suburban growth at the time, marked by treeless roadways and the destruction of native trees and habitats, reflected an unfortunate disregard for the value of trees in our lives. The mission of the Sacramento Tree Foundation, to plant trees in order to achieve healthy, livable communities, is just as relevant today as it was back then, but our impact on the community has grown. In the three decades since the Sacramento Tree Foundation was founded, we have facilitated the planting of more than 1.5 million trees and mobilized tens of thousands of individuals across the Sacramento region to make their corner of the world more beautiful. Yet, from the beginning our mission has been about more than transforming the landscape. We have proved time and again that trees change lives. Consider the families whose modest yards line a busy roadway clogged with commuter traffic throughout the day. The mature trees along their fence lines provide a leafy barrier to the exhaust fumes of passing automobiles, allowing children at play to breathe freely. Or, consider the aging couple who maintain their daily fitness routine: despite the scorching summer heat, the vast canopy of red maples and sycamores that shade their path allow them to comfortably take a brisk walk around the neighborhood park. And think of the generations of schoolchildren in a local district who can now play and learn beneath the shade of 1,000 trees planted on their campuses by legions of caring volunteers. These stories and countless others clearly demonstrate that trees alter our lives for the better. That is why the Sacramento Tree Foundation has set a goal to plant five million more trees in the Sacramento region. We are uniquely qualified to reach this goal. We are one of the largest, most successful urban tree-planting organizations in the world. We are recognized nationally for delivering innovative programs based on science and best practices. We have strong relationships with community leaders and thousands of volunteers, and the technical know-how to get the job done. But we cannot do it alone. This historic endeavor requires a major investment of resources from those who share our vision of a greener, leafier, healthier Sacramento region. Sincerely, Ray Tretheway, Executive Director