Location: P.O. Box 704, Austin, TX 78767
Description: TreeFolks is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization based in Austin, Texas. According to its website, it “grows the urban forest of Central Texas through tree planting, education and community partnerships.” It provides classes and workshops to educate the public at-large on the importance of tree stewardship, particularly in the urban environment.
+ Has planted tens of thousands of trees since its founding in 1989.
+ Targets specific areas of need, including schools, retirement homes, housing projects, public medians, residential right of ways, community gardens, parks, preserves, and green belts.
+ Operates a staff of four, led by Executive Director April Rose (with whom we met).
+ Emphasizes the importance of planting native trees which are adapted to the climate of Central Texas.
+ Through the CommuniTrees project, TreeFolks issues grants to volunteer projects in local communities.
+ The NeighborWoods project attempts to reinvigorate communities at the hyperlocal level, while also reducing the urban heat island effect.
Conclusion: Advocating for the preservation and propagation of trees in the urban environment is certainly not a new concept, nor is it one that is particularly controversial. TreeFolks is, however, much more than an advocacy organization, promoting its cause through a handful of clever and innovative programs. The NeighborWoods project, which targets at-risk communities through the solicitation of tree stewardship pledges, perfectly embodies the tenets of social and environmental sustainability.
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