Austin B. Carroll Award
Honoring an organization, institution or corporation whose activities to improve, maintain, or restore the urban forest set a worthy example for others to follow.
River Park Tree Canopy
After observing many mature, two-story-tall trees the River Park community adored being removed due to age-related issues, leading to an overall decline of the neighborhood's tree canopy before their very eyes, a group of concerned neighbors banded together to tackle this alarming threat to our urban forest. Starting in 2015, the River Park Tree Canopy Project Committee (RPTCP) partnered with the Sacramento Tree Foundation to plan and implement a two-pronged approach to remedy the problem: (1) replacing trees through an annual neighborhood tree planting and (2) educating the neighborhood and greater community about how to best care for their trees.
Since then, over 90 residents of River Park have planted 100 new trees at 3 community planting events with the help of local service groups thanks to the RPTCP's efforts. To maintain those trees, the neighborhood continues to support a monitoring program that allows volunteers to share friendly tips and suggestions about how to better care for their trees with their neighbors. The RPTCP has also begun talking to the City of Sacramento about using technology to identify areas of focus for future tree planting efforts in River Park.
Education has continued to be at the forefront of the RPTCP's efforts. At one River Park Neighborhood Association meeting, a tree-themed carnival featured a drought workshop by the Sacramento Tree Foundation as well as speakers from the City of Sacramento and local arborists. The neighborhood also facilitated a pruning workshop that provided participants with the opportunity to practice what they learned on live trees. Most of the trees pruned at the workshop were planted at River Park's yearly tree planting in 2015 too!
River Park's full-circle approach to their Tree Canopy Project ensures that current and future trees in their community thrive so that their canopy will continue to be one of the best in the Sacramento region. The neighborhood's passion for the project stands out as a shining example of tree advocacy in our region. We hope other motivated neighborhoods with the same issues will adopt their approach to growing and protecting our urban forest.