About

The Sacramento Tree Foundation is a community benefit organization working to grow thriving communities through stewardship of our urban forest. 

A Brief History

Learn more about the Sacramento Tree Foundation by watching this video.

2020
Served on the Mayors' Commission on Climate Change task force to develop bold strategies to be carbon neutral by 2045, including tree canopy goals of 25% by 2035 and 35% by 2045 through tree plantings in under-canopied and underserved neighborhoods.

Led the development of the Green Neighborhood Certification, the nation's first urban forest certification program for new residential neighborhoods.

Completed 300 acres of native tree and habitat plantings in Sacramento County through our native tree mitigation program.

The Acorn Harvest celebrates 100,000 acorns collected by trained volunteers over the past 10 years for our Seed to Seedling hands-on classroom curriculum.

Sacramento Shade celebrates the planting of 600,000 shade trees and its 30th anniversary. The SMUD-funded program revises its focus from summer energy savings to carbon storage, reflecting a more holistic recognition of the many benefits trees provide.
2019
Convened the first annual NeighborWoods Leadership Summit where community members from across Sacramento come together to learn about how to improve the urban forests in their own neighborhoods.
2018
Filmmakers Phil D'Asaro, Bruce Handley, and Joni Ramirez create the Made in the Shade documentary to tell the story of Sacramento as the City of Trees.

Urban Wood Rescue welcomes hundreds of visitors for its grand opening in Depot Park. Local urban lumber is now available for sale to the public.
2017
Partner with Sakuramento to crowdfund a grove of 28 flowering cherry trees for Southside Park. Over 150 volunteers turned out to create Sakura Grove.
2016
The Save the Elms Program is revived to train a cadre of community scientists to monitor the City of Sacramento’s remaining 2,000 elms for Dutch elm disease.

Received first of three CALFIRE grants to launch Urban Wood Rescue, an urban sawmill that mills lumber from urban trees that had to be removed and would have otherwise ended up at the landfill.
2015
Expand our NeighborWoods program to South Sacramento thanks to a grant from CALFIRE to grow the urban forest in one of the region's most under-canopied communities.

Begin work on the Bear River Habitat Trail restoration project in partnership with Yuba County after receiving a grant from the Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program.
2014
Awarded a grant from the Rose Foundation to manage a Watershed Wise Neighborhoods project in Elk Grove.
2012
Celebrate our 30th anniversary!

Bring artist Konstantin Dimopoulos' international Blue Trees living art project to Sacramento to call attention to Sacramento's valuable urban forest and the unique benefits of visiting our city.

Sacramento Shade sites its 500,000 tree!
2011
Our award winning 3rd and 4th grade curriculum, Seed to Seedling, is refreshed to meet California State Standards and made available for free online.

Collaborate with Leadership Sacramento on "Cover Your Asphalt," a parking lot retrofit pilot project.
2010
Hold the inagurual Greenprint Summit for community members, business owners, service and faith-based groups, youth groups, elected officials and local government staff who are interested in improving the quality of life for our community.
2009
Work with Twin Rivers School District to plant more than 1,000 trees at school campuses throughout the district.

Complete first volunteer-run regional tree count using I-Tree software.
2008
Publish a history of our first 25 years building the best urban forest for the Sacramento region.

Bring 'Folks for Oaks" program to the Sheldon community to ensure the survival of its native oak habitat.

Begin work on our first major grant award from CALFIRE to support enhanced citizen engagement in our urban forest. 
2007
Celebrate our 25th year building the best urban forest!

Conduct a first-of-its-kind national workshop to model the Greenprint for other urban forest/municipal partnerships across the country.
2006
Conduct a volunteer-led street tree assessment and evaluation for the City of Elk Grove.

Our Urban Forest for Clean Air demonstration project scientifically calculates the air quality benefits of trees for the Sacramento region. This study positions our region to have the nation’s first State Air Quality Plan to include trees.
2005
Our Greenprint Initiative to build the nation's best regional urban forest is endorsed by 26 of the 28 SACOG jurisdictions. Our successful Street Tree partnership sees 3,000 trees planted in one year.
2004
Institute GIS urban forest mapping and monitoring system.
2003
Our Sacramento Shade partnership with SMUD plants its 350,000th shade tree.
2002
Initiate a board-led fundraising effort featuring local Tree Hero Awards.

Partner with the City of Sacramento to offer self-help and low-cost professional pruning of mistletoe.
2001
Initiate the Sacramento Regional Urban Forest Framework, later renamed Greenprint.

Partner with the California Energy Commission's statewide Cool Roof Program that works with reflective roofs, light surfaces, and shade trees.

Arbor Day marks the successful completion of the Trees for Tomorrow Campaign, renamed the Millennium Tree Celebration, to plant one million trees in Sacramento.
2000
Release our second State of the Trees Report that calls on local governments to create a regional urban forest master plan.

NASA completes its series of aerial photographs mapping the urban heat island effect in Sacramento, a major contribution to the Sacramento Cool Communities Project.
1999
Launch a native tree replacement mitigation program, NATURE - under the management of the County's Department of Environmental Review and Assessment.
1998
Petition the U.S. EPA and NASA to select Sacramento in its "urban heat island" initiative. This marks the beginning of the Sacramento Cool Communities Project.

Launch our NeighborWoods program with support from the County of Sacramento to foster neighborhood-led planning and projects to enhance local urban forests.
1996
Issue Sacramento's first State of the Trees Report, subtitled “creating a shared vision for stewarding a sustainable urban forest.”
1995
The Western Center for Urban Forest Research completes an exhaustive study on the value and cost benefits of Sacramento County’s urban forest.
1994
A community group called Save the Elms Program (STEP) creates a volunteer monitoring program to stop the spread of Dutch elm disease. STEP is coordinated by Tree Foundation staff.
1993
In collaboration with Congressman Vic Fazio, establish the U.S. Forest Service Western Center for Urban Forest Research located in Davis, California.

The Alliance for Community Trees is founded as a national network for community tree organizations.

The Sacramento Shade Program plants a record 48,000 shade trees for energy savings in a single year.
1991
As a result of our partnership with SMUD, we grow exponentially from planting 1,000 trees a year to more than 25,000 trees a year. Our budget grows from $100,000 to $ 1.6 million.
1990
SMUD pledges to partner with the Tree Foundation to plant 500,000 trees dedicated to energy efficiency. The community-based program is called Sacramento Shade.

Hire Ray Tretheway to be our first full time executive director.
1985
The “Year of the Oak” celebrates native trees throughout Sacramento County. 10,000 new oaks are planted.

Develop a new education curriculum: “Seed to Seedling, growing native oaks in the classroom.”
1983
Plant 400 trees in its first year through its community grants program for trees in parks, schools and streets.
1982
California Arbor Day (March 7) marks the founding of the Sacramento Tree Foundation. Ann Kohl volunteers to be our first Executive Director on a half-time, volunteer basis.
1981
Sacramento Mayor Phil Isenberg and County Supervisor Illa Collin call for the creation of a nonprofit tree foundation dedicated to trees.