by Lorie Lewis Ham
This week we are celebrating Earth Day which takes place on April 22. Because of that, we thought it would be a perfect time to talk with Tree Fresno, a Community Benefit Organization serving Fresno, Tulare, Madera, and Kings Counties whose mission is to transform the San Joaquin Valley with trees, greenways, and beautiful landscapes. We chatted with Brianna Woodsford who is a part of Tree Fresno.
KRL: What are your goals and what do you do?
Brianna: Our Big Goals: (1) Teach the art of living green to every citizen. Help make the landscapes at Fresno State an inspiration for the region; (2) Raise the Fresno ParkScore from last to the top 10% in the nation; (3) Develop the Valley Arboretum, a system of greenways, as a signature amenity for the region; (4) Transform rural cities and urban districts with Community Landscapes Plans; (5) Establish a Veteran’s Grove and Tribute Grove in every city in our region; and (6) Demonstrate how trees and greenways reduce air pollution, energy use, storm water run-off and groundwater contamination.
KRL: When, how, and why did Tree Fresno begin?
Brianna: We have been around since 1985. The co-founders held a successful telethon to raise money to plant trees as a way to celebrate the Centennial of the City of Fresno. The community responded in a big way. Tree Fresno became a non-profit corporation in 1987.
KRL: What is your position with Tree Fresno?
Brianna: I am the Program Assistant for Tree Fresno. My job duties consist of volunteer coordination, community outreach, and planting trees (of course)!
KRL: Why do you feel that Tree Fresno is important?
Brianna: As a resident in the Central Valley, and a mother of three, it is essential to me that we work to improve the landscapes around us. Trees clean our air, reduce the urban heat island effect, provide opportunities for us to connect with nature, and restore our mental and physical well-being.
KRL: What is a ParkScore and why is this important?
Brianna: A ParkScore is a rating system developed to measure how well U.S. cities are meeting their residents’ need for parks. ParkScore was designed to help local communities improve their park systems and identify where new parks are needed most. Tree Fresno is planting hundreds of trees in parks throughout the San Joaquin Valley. These trees will help make our region a cooler, healthier, cleaner, and more beautiful place to live, work, and play.
KRL: What is the Valley Arboretum?
Brianna: The Valley Arboretum, a system of greenways, is becoming a signature amenity for the Fresno region. Adopted by reference in the 2014 General Plan, the San Joaquin River Parkway, Sugar Pine Trail, Old Town Clovis Trail, and the new Mid-Town Trail are notable components.
KRL: What are some of the events you do?
Brianna: Tree Fresno participates in numerous community outreach events each year. We host three annual events:
Arbor Day Celebration: Friday, April 27, 2018 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: Tree Fresno Demonstration Garden
Purpose: To inspire attendees to plant and design beautiful landscapes and build volunteer support.
Homecoming at the Hort: October, 2018
Purpose: To celebrate Fresno State landscapes & Tree Fresno education initiatives.
The CTL Shuttle Express: The CTL Shuttle Express provides a place to park, a way to see the whole Lane, and a ride home to limit the distance and time to make the walk.
KRL: How can people get involved?
KRL: Anything you would like to add?
Brianna: Maybe about becoming a member of Tree Fresno. As a member of Tree Fresno you will enjoy the opportunity to help us reach our Big Goals and Annual Membership Levels:
Starter Membership: $25: One Christmas Tree Lane Shuttle Ticket
Family Membership: $50: 2TwoCTL Shuttle Tickets
Business Membership: $100 Two CTL Shuttle Tickets and one Tree Seedling.
Check out more Earth Day articles in our Going Green section.