Urban Releaf concentrates on predominantly low-to-moderate income neighborhoods in Oakland and in Richmond, California. To date, we have planted and maintained more than 8500 trees on median strips and public sidewalks. At the same time, we provide on-the-job training to disadvantaged youth. Since our founding, we have mentored and trained more than 4000 youth in tree planting and maintenance projects.
At-risk teens from East and West Oakland will hone their math, science and computer skills working with GIS data, statistical analysis and measuring storm water runoff and contaminants as part of a watershed research project with UC Davis funded by CalFed.
Urban Releaf’s Urban Forestry Program at Oakland elementary schools and day care centers exposes youth to science,arboriculture, environmental education, tree planting and maintenance,and employment opportunities. Since 1999, more than 4000 students have participated in this program. Urban Releaf partners with The State Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, California Releaf, The National Tree Trust, the City of Oakland, Safe Start Program, Alameda County Social Services, East Bay Conservation Corps, and WCN Graphics.
• Youth from the Youth Employment Partnership, Inc. (YEP), East Bay Conservation Corp ,and other local youth organizations provide hands-on tree planting and maintenance, community clean-up, office support and advocacy. Urban Releaf provides volunteer opportunities for approximately 200 high school students a year.
• Students produced a coloring book for young students called “The Adventures of Captain ReLeaf in the City,” focusing on urban forestry as it relates to an urban environment.
• In the fall of 2003, Urban Releaf sponsored an afterschool program for Oakland youth that offers a safe location where students provide clerical and multi-media support, answer phones, do filing and light cooking.
Students involved in the California Water Shed Grant project are responsible for:
• Communicating and organizing neighborhoods for tree planting
• Preparing areas and planting the trees
• Developing a GIS database and monitoring data on streets, parcel boundaries, land cover, land use, storm sewer flows