Performing tree planting and maintenance to revitalize core urban areas and residential neighborhoods forms the foundation of Urban Releaf’s activities. Our organization recruits volunteers and engages community members to plant trees in core urban areas where there is a lack of greenery. (View list of Oakland’s approved trees). In particular, we target areas of low to moderate income whose residents suffer from a lower environmental quality of life. We feel community participation on the grassroots level is crucial not only for environmental health, but also to create a sense of positive self-identity of inner city areas. This helps create a sense of community ownership and pride.
After our trees are planted, our staff of locally hired youth and adults helps to maintain them until they take root. Maintenance activities include watering, restaking, retying, weed whacking and litter abatement. Our educational outreach efforts are designed to engage community stakeholders who will eventually become the stewards of the trees in the long term. Stakeholders including residents, businesses and schools, assist with watering, routine health monitoring and overall care.