Arborist Apprentices participate in almost every aspect of our work, and are an essential part of our operations. The Arborist Apprentice program consists of two to three young adults who have come to Friends of the Urban Forest through the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital’s Wraparound Project, which helps young survivors of violence to change their lives. While employed at FUF, they continue to receive support and guidance from their case managers at the Wraparound Project.
Arborist Apprentices learn every step of the FUF urban greening model. They do regular outreach and canvassing to drum up support for our community plantings; learn to plant and prune trees; lead volunteer groups in planting, pruning and sidewalk landscaping; collect and curate data on young trees planted by FUF; help advise property owners; and re-stake trees in need. Many Arborist Apprentices have brought important greening skills back to their communities and improved the landscaping practices there.
Throughout their time with FUF, Arborist Apprentices have a chance to improve basic job skills including timeliness, professionalism, and customer service. As a part of the program we encourage all Arborist Apprentices to consider careers within the “Green Industry.” We help them prepare their resumes, and we coordinate ride-alongs with local arborists, which introduces them to potential employers and gives them additional exposure to professional practices.
It is our intention that Arborist Apprentices gain a sense of responsibility for the urban landscape and gain critical skills to help them thrive in whatever careers they choose.