Friends of Trees is a community forestry organization that brings people in the Portland-Vancouver and Eugene-Springfield metro areas together to plant and care for city trees and green spaces.They engage thousands of volunteers each year in tree planting efforts on public and private property. They have planted over 600,000 trees and native plants since their inception in 1989. Read more about the organization's work here.
Urban trees affect carbon dioxide in two ways.Traditionally, people think about how trees sequester carbon as they grow. However, they are also an effective energy saving device when planted to decrease solar gain in summer, and decrease wind on buildings during the winter. They also serve other ecosystem services like storm-water management and combating the urban heat island effect. And they do these things while beautifying the urban environment.
Friends of Trees operates two tree planting programs. The Green Space Initiative plants mostly on public property. This program works with agencies such as Clean Water Services, Water Environment Services and the Oregon Department of Transportation. Each year, Friends of Trees plants over 15,000 saplings in this program. The Neighborhood Trees program plants mostly on private property and city right-of-way. Through this program, property owners are walked through the process of urban tree planting and are encouraged to participate in a community tree planting event where neighbors come together to plant in small groups.
Friends of Trees is a valuable partner for homeowners because urban tree planting involves choosing the right tree for the right place, navigating the municipal permitting process, locating underground utilities, and often removing pavement.
Learn more about Friends of Trees.
Meet Brighton West, Program Director at Friends of Trees
Brighton West is the Program Director at Friends of Trees. In this position, he manages the planting staff who are responsible for planting over 30,000 trees, shrubs, and native plants each year. Brighton has a degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin. He’s a daily bike commuter in Portland, Oregon. He’s also a filmmaker who has made a number of short films about bikes, and even one about tree planting by bike (successfully combining all his passions.)