Over the years, Urban Releaf has worked with former state Senator Perata’s office, the Oakland school board, and CAL-FIRE on projects in numerous schools and daycare facilities, including Hoover Elementary, Longfellow Elementary, Aviation High School, Golden Gate, New Highland Academy, Soujourner Truth Childcare Center, Lafayette Elementary, West Oakland Middle School, Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary, and Peralta Elementary.
The tree-plantings Urban Releaf has done have helped to inspire schoolchildren to take an interest in trees and the environment, while also reducing the environmental hazards of urban areas, noted Urban Releaf Executive Director Kemba Shakur. “Many of the school sites we’ve planted trees at were barren or trees and shade and were in need of greenery. Also, we’ve found that educating children in issues of the environment instills a sense of community stewardship and can help encourage the young generation to become environmentalists. It’s amazing seeing young people that we invested in 10-15 years ago now grown and saying that we impacted their lives positively through something as simple as a tree-planting.”
Urban Releaf hopes to continue to work with OUSD in the future to educate schoolchildren about the benefits of trees and the value of community stewardship.