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Time To Check-In With Our South Sacramento NeighborWoods Project!

By Meredith Thompson, NeighborWoods Specialist

January 20, 2017

We have come to the end of the first year of this innovative, community-led project. And what a great year it has been! We’ve created a strong partnership with Soil Born Farms and the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps. We’ve met many engaged, active community residents in Fruitridge Manor, Avondale/Glen Elder, Hampton Park, The Avenues, Meadowview and Valley Hi. We’ve worked with schools, school districts, elected officials – and most importantly – passionate community residents! We’ve attended community events, neighborhood association meetings, and planted trees at schools, parks and homes. We’ve seen incredible enthusiasm for the urban forest and a strong desire to bring positive change to their neighborhood in all of these communities. We are excited at the progress of this project in the first year, but also looking forward to bringing the NeighborWoods message to even more residents and communities in the future.

Nowhere is our progress more apparent than in our experience with Samuel Kennedy Elementary School. Early last year, we were contacted by one of their staff members who had heard about our work. Jim Crowley was looking to replace a few stolen trees – as well as increase the tree canopy to provide more shade for their students. We soon met with their principal, Eileen Peña, who expressed a great interest in trees and growing the urban forest on her campus. One of the first things she said was “I Love Trees!” We knew that we had found a strong community advocate for the urban forest!

Community Forester Kuldeep visited their campus soon after – and together with the Elk Grove Unified School District – sited 38 new trees throughout campus! Trees were sited with students in mind, focusing on areas where they could provide shade during recess and physical education classes, as well as providing a green landscape that they can see from their classroom windows, which increases concentration and reduces stress. Our event was beginning to take shape!

Over the next few weeks, the Sacramento Tree Foundation worked closely with the garden committee, Eileen and Jim to plan a community event that would allow their students, parents and staff to participate in planting trees. We brought in Soil Born Farms to work with their garden committee to make garden improvements.

On Saturday, November 5th – 100 volunteers arrived to a sunny morning on Samuel Kennedy’s campus ready to work! Volunteers planted 38 trees, improved the garden, and mulched close to 50 trees! Many of those volunteers came from the Samuel Kennedy community – which you could plainly see in their hard work in greening the school. This event also allowed us to reach out to many community residents who wanted to green their own street. Presently, the Sacramento Tree Foundation is working with those residents to help them forest their neighborhoods.

This project brought many community members together to improve their school – and the services it provides to their students. And it all began with a simple phone call. Do you have a school, church, business or home that needs trees? Give us a call – it’s really that easy.

Contact Meredith Thompson at 916-974-4322 or meredith@sactree.com to learn how you could bring a forest to your neighborhood!