CANOPY

Rating: 4.87 stars   15 reviews

Issues: Environment

Location: 3921 E Bayshore Rd Palo Alto CA 94303 USA

Mission: Canopy protects and grows the urban forest in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, and neighboring communities. Because trees are a critical element of a livable, sustainable urban environment, Canopy’s mission is to educate, inspire, and engage youth, residents, schools, businesses, and government agencies to protect and enhance local urban forests.
Results: Canopy has planted thousands of trees in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park. We have a 98% survival rate for newly planted trees. We've also reached hundreds of school kids with our education programs, helping them learn about the environment. We engage hundreds of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds in our tree planting and tree care. Canopy also advocated for our urban forest with local and state governments.
Target demographics: grow and protect our urban forest."
Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2009 we cared for 2,292 trees, engaged over 400 volunteers and reached 2,189 residents through educational activities!
Geographic areas served: Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Peninsula, Menlo Park
Programs: 1. Tree Plantings 2. Tree Care 3. Tree Walks 4. Youth Staff Program 5. Right Tree in the Right Place 6. Training Sessions and Workshops 7. Community Outreach

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I recently led a tree planting with Canopy at the Willow Oaks Elementary school which has a largely Spanish speaking student body – it was inspiring to see these kids getting their hands dirty, fighting climate change and improving the air and environment around their school by planting the trees that will be there for decades (some of the trees we planted can easily live over 100 years). We got my employer and a local law firm to donate to this effort, too.

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Rating: 4 stars  

Re: a Thank you from the Dockters, responding to the Canopy Board Match, Silicon Valley Gives program, connecting people with nature, like your friend, the late Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai: "When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of hope and the seeds of Peace".

Catherine & Board: Thank you for the gratitude email to Eileen and I.

You enable us to be directly involved with nature-based programs in a way that ‘without you’ we would probably not be engaged in a similar way.

You guys are the best at what you do--seemingly always keeping things fresh, up-to-date and on pace with the technology speed of Silicon Valley.

I thank you for the leadership you have utilized thru the 2007-2014 economic season, and support you to flourish in the new season of growth for the community.

Sincerely,

David & Eileen Dockter, Canopy Contributors


Dave Dockter
Urban Forestry Group, ASCA, ISA, APA
City of Palo Alto Public Works - Urban Forestry Section
Email: dave.dockter@cityofpaloalto.org
http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/gov/depts/pwd/trees/default.asp

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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1 previous review
Rating: 4 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

The City of Palo Alto urban forest has been growing in private yards and city land for more than a century. The most critical time for all of the trees has been in the last decade. The involvement of the Canopy organization with the community as well as city tree programs has filled a critical gap and continues to do so. Canopy has become a regional resource for many cities in the Bay Area because their leadership vision is broad, their services are beneficial and contractor referral services are sought after by residents, architects and cities alike.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the recent California Avenue tree removal incident. Canopy became a critical third party voice that both city staffers and residents could rely upon for an objective opinion.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Arbor Day Activities.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

with professional arborists leading tree walks. Very knowledgeable and interesting docents--male and female.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Develop yearly programs and interface with unified school district children and teens; Arbor Day Poster Contest for 5th Graders. Sponsor interns

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

I remember when Canopy first started, with big ideas and a tiny budget. I’ve had the privilege of working with them off and on ever since—serving as a leader in planting trees in our neighborhood, collaborating with them in persuading the school district to adopt and implement a good tree policy, loaning them my pickup, and working with a Latino mom and her kids in planting trees at an East Palo Alto school as part of a Rotary project. It is totally inspiring to see how they’ve grown and what they’ve accomplished and there are few experiences more rewarding than planting with young people and witnessing their emotional connection to nature.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I've volunteered for Canopy for over 10 years and keep coming back because of the benefit they provide to the community and because of the quality of the people associated with the organization. Their efforts to enhance the urban forests of Palo Alto and East Palo Alto are widely recognized appreciated by the citizenry of both communities. One of the major projects I supported was the planting of over 1200 trees in East Palo Alto since 2007. This has provided both an aesthetic benefit and the well-documented many environmental and economic benefits associated with planting trees.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

many ways. Not only have I been able to be a "hands-on" volunteer, I've been able see the inner workings of the organization through participation on the board and on various committees.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with a wide-range of community volunteers including many youth and service club groups and realizing the positive effect the organization has on local communities.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, enthusiastic, and having fun planting trees and doing tree care work.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

My involvement with the Canopy Board has been very rewarding. The Board members are dynamic and creative with good communication skills. Canopy has grown considerably since my involvement, not so much in dollars or volume, but in savvy and wisdom. We are really fortunate to have Catherine Martineau as our Executive Director, and our growth is in a large part to her credit.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide a whole new urban forest in under-served communities such as East Palo Alto with a sustainable design, installation and maintenance plan that would yield immeasurable benefits to air, water, wildlife and quality of life.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Canopy has something for everyone, and everything it touches is superbly organized. It provides turnkey volunteer activities such as tree plantings and monitoring young tree health for people who want to spend a few hours. It presents accessible educational programs such as neighborhood tree walks. It offers trainings for people who want to be more involved. It supports neighborhood initiatives to plant street trees. Its programs engage everyone from school kids to older adults. It also brings exceptional environmental leaders to our community from Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai to E.O. Wilson. In short it is a powerful force integrated into our community in countless ways.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Helping organize two planting events for multiple trees: one in a nearby park and one on my street. Canopy determined the optimal species and provided materials, supplies and training. I'm also a former board member and current advisory board member.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand the geographic reach. Neighboring communities would benefit from Canopy's down to earth but sophisticated approach that yields great results. This would provide terrific economies of scale for all involved.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Focusing on a single essential element in nature, while working alongside people who are far more knowledgeable and passionate than I am. When I leave the activities, I am both better informed and inspired.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Energetic, warm, inclusive, highly organized and intelligent.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

1) create an endowment and grow the organization without having to devote time to fundraising; expand its geograpic reach

Ways to make it better...

On my own street if I could have convinced more neighbors to plant trees.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Expanding geographically.

One thing I'd also say is that...

The executive director is exceptionally talented as a strategist and manager; hires smart, capable people; and engages volunteers in a warm, welcoming way.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I've been very impressed not just with the professionalism of the Canopy staff -- great use of technology -- but also with the creativity exhibited in many of the programs and activities. The scope of what Canopy does is stupendous -- everything from inventorying native oaks to conducting neighborhood tree walks -- but there's never any loss of focus on its mission of protecting Palo Alto's trees.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

selecting a tree for my yard.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase the size of the office!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the practicality of what it does.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

since staff and volunteers are people, the appropriate pronoun is WHO or WHOM not "that." In this case it's "whom," but "who" would still be better than "that." OK?

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

pay the staff decently, rent a decent office, get administrative help for the overworked director, publicize its programs better, hire someone to work full-time with city staff on tree issues and care for a lot more trees.

Ways to make it better...

funds weren't so tight.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

money, money, money

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I'm a certified arborist that helps Canopy out on planting and work days. Working with Canopy has been a great experience. The staff, board members, and volunteer leaders are all committed to educating the public about the numerous environmental and economic benefits of planting trees. We teach all volunteer workers how to plant properly ~ especially important with trees ~ from digging the hole to mulching, staking, and watering. We teach the public about proper tree care and proper tree selection. Planting trees is one of the best things we can all do to help heal the planet. Canopy advocates for trees, helping to assure everyone does right by the trees in Palo Alto and neighboring communities needing help. Fantastic organization!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

working as a volunteer planting leader.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working recently on the California Avenue tree replanting project. The well-oiled Canopy machine jumped in to resolve a public relations nightmare. The end result was 46 trees properly planted by over 150 volunteers in under 2 hours. Amazing work!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

other certified arborists, tree lovers, neighbors, and students. I especially love working with the students, catching them at an early age and teaching them how to select, plant, and properly care for trees.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

plant 100,000 trees ~ probably more like 150,000, since they likely purchase trees at wholesale prices. They could help neighboring communities plant more trees. They could help restore native plant communities, recreating habitat for native critters.

Ways to make it better...

there was more lead time for many of the events were volunteers and arborists are needed. All too often, when there's less than a month's notice, it's impossible to rearrange the schedule to accommodate the activities.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of funds in a struggling economy. California will likely be one of the last areas to come out of this current economic crisis. Our wonderful non-profits are disappearing because donors aren't currently donating. Help Canopy continue.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Partnering with Canopy is a pleasure and always productive. The staff and board go way beyond the call of duty to partner with other nonprofits. I have learned a lot from the experience and appreciate the expertise and generosity of the volunteers and staff.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

tree plantings in East Palo Alto.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Canopy has facilitated the planting of many hundreds, maybe thousands, of trees since I have been involved with the organization. People may not see them because of our busy lives, we go by too fast, but those new trees will benefit many generations to come, just as we have benefited from the trees planted by foresighted people 75-100 years ago. Canopy makes a difference and leads the way!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

exceotional. Canopy has a wonderfully dedicated Executive Director, who makes good "things" happen in ways that still bewilder me!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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