Imagine San Francisco covered in healthy trees and sidewalk gardens. Everywhere you go in the City — from North Beach to Ocean Beach, from Glen Park to South Park, from Dog Patch to Cow Hollow, from SOMA to NOPA — you see green. The scent of Acacia trees fill the air on Potrero Hill; the white flowers of the Sweet Michelia line the streets of Noe Valley; the leaves of the Gingko tree add a golden hue to the Richmond district; and sidewalk gardens in every neighborhood capture rainwater, replenishing our aquifer and preventing overflow from polluting the Bay.
For this vision to become reality, we need more than dedicated volunteers and donors. We must work closely with government agencies to ensure that public policies and public funding support the growth and maintenance of a robust and thriving urban forest.
That’s why we’re collaborating with the San Francisco Planning Department and Department of Public Works to create an “Urban Forest Plan” for the City. A draft of Phase One of the Plan — the portion that focuses on street trees — is available for download here.
We also partner with other organizations to identify solutions to problems that affect our urban forest, and to hold elected officials accountable. In the autumn of 2012, we co-sponsored town hall meetings and candidate forums for San Franciscans to meet candidates for the Board of Supervisors and ask them questions about their plans for improving and supporting the urban forest.
And we inform citizens about policies that affect the urban forest. When the City announced plans to slash its tree maintenance program, we spread the word to our email list and our Facebook fans, and urged everyone to express their concerns to City Hall. We’re currently leading a campaign to improve the City’s dismal municipal street tree policies and under-funded urban forestry program; please sign our “Speak for the Trees” petition.
To receive action alerts, and to stay informed about events and opportunities regarding San Francisco’s urban forest, read our Blog, “Like” our Facebook Page and subscribe to our e-newsletter, SF Urban Forester. We also post events on our Events Calendar.