As the core of our Outreach & Education efforts, we have created the IDG “Street Tree Team”. This program was conceived of as a way to educate and involve local Skid Row community members in the care and upkeep of young trees. Both housed and homeless alike are encouraged to participate.
Team Supervisors serve as educators to Team Members on monthly Tree Walks providing basic information on the important role of trees in the environment. Team Members assist in tracking tree health, visiting each on a periodic basis, logging problems, and taking pictures where necessary. If a tree is in distress, it is important that we react quickly to save it. The Street Tree Team will also touch base with those property and business owners involved in caring for our trees. We believe community stewardship and participation are interwoven with the health of young trees. Volunteer participants are provided with gift cards from local retailers.
Community tree-plantings are another key component of the program bringing together a diverse collection of volunteers for a half-day of community service and sustainability education. Volunteers assist with all aspects of the planting process. Once trees are in the ground, the Street Tree Team follows-up with monitoring and data collection. We have found that our volunteer tree-plantings really help engage and unite the community and over time we hope that our Street Tree Team will come to be seen as a valued and trusted guardian of the local urban forest.