I have volunteered for Friends of Trees since 2006, first as a Crew Leader helping teams of other volunteers plant street trees in our neighborhoods, then as a Neighborhood Coordinator, planning my own neighborhood's annual tree planting. I keep coming back because the work feels so beneficial--to have more trees in our urban environment. But mostly I keep coming back because Friends of Trees makes volunteering so enjoyable--the staff sets a fun, upbeat, lively tone to every event. We get important work done AND we have fun doing it, which makes continuing the work easy.
Review from Guidestar
Wow! Adding green to my neighborhood and condo complex was easy with Friends of Trees! A true grass roots organization helping to add nature back to the city. They make it affordable so that everyone can enjoy some more nature, more wildlife and better air.
First I ordered trees for my own house and helped plant them along with neighbors. Then I became a crew leader on plantings. Now I'm a neighborhood coordinator and it's been rewarding every step of the way. Friends of Trees (FOT) builds community is many ways, not only in improving the canopy of trees along our streets, but connecting neighbors and volunteers with their own places of living.
You can't plant a tree and not think about them a little differently afterwards. The hands on aspect is key.
FOT's mission is growing, and keeping up with that is the biggest challenge of all.
I started volunteering for Friends of Trees around 15 years ago, but I have had such a positive experience that I keep coming back every year! They are always well organized, positive and dedicated to increasing the tree canopy in the greater Portland metropolitan region. They are constantly challenging themselves to improve their processes and they also work hard to connect with all of the communities in the region. Thanks to Friends of Trees, the Portland/Vancouver area is gaining tree cover instead of losing it! I will be back for as long as they keep it going!
I am a crew leader for the Neighborhood Trees program. This means I spend four or five Saturdays planting about a dozen trees. This experience never fails to make me happy. You would think the focus would be on the trees, greening the city and reducing global warming. But actually, the best part is getting to know the folks I am planting with, finding out why they decided to volunteer and what their life is about. Portland, Oregon is a big city, but this is the greatest way I have found to find new connections with others. I love to see neighbors who didn't know each other, become friends by the end of the planting. Then we go back to where we started and have a great lunch, prepared by other volunteers. In the end, the trees get in the ground, and everyone is excited to watch how they grow.
I couldn't wait to request that Friends of Trees plant a tree in my yard. I loved the idea that there is a group who would do that. As I was welcomed into the process, I found out that I myself, and my neighbors, are that group! When you connect with F.O.T you become part of something larger: a community effort where you meet new friends and neighbors, enjoy part of the day working outside in the fresh air. There is a wonderful satisfaction in having joined together to plant hundreds of trees.
Friends of Trees staff are friendly, capable stewards who are passionate about planting trees in Portland neighborhoods. As soon as I made my inquiry, my local representative connected me with the beautiful F.O.T. website, where I learned about many new varieties of trees, and easily select the one I wanted. The price was extremely reasonable.
F.O.T. communicated the timeline clearly, giving me lots of notice to reserve that day for volunteering. They gave clear instructions on where and when to meet, and which task I was requested to volunteer with. I saw that they could use snacks, so I was happy to contribute.
I was really struck by the overall spirit of cooperation fostered by this amazing organization. I see new trees frequently in my area and they dramatically improve the quality of the area.
I'm happy to have been part of the planting. I may volunteer for another day in someone else's neighborhood. This group does such important work!
Until volunteering with Friends of Trees, I was mostly an indoor-type person and wanted to change that. So I had been on the lookout for a well-run, professional, environmental, and community-building focused organization to which I could volunteer my time. Friends of Trees is precisely that. The staff knows their stuff when it comes to trees and they know how to expertly organize and manage volunteer, community-based events every single weekend during the planting season. And there's just something fundamental about putting trees into the ground and wondering what they will become 10, 20, and 50 years from now and knowing the benefits trees provide to future generations. Friends of Trees is simply fantastic!
We planted 212 trees yesterday in Irvington, Portland, Oregon, USA
We love Friends of Trees. Efficient, friendly, organized, and creating a lasting changing in our City. Every city should be so lucky to have such an amazing group in their town.
Here is my write up of our planting on March 12th, 2011 with a slide show of pictures!
We were able to buy discounted trees through Friends of Trees. At first, we thought that was the best part. Then we volunteered to help plant... Meeting people in our neighborhood, learning how to properly plant trees, getting to be part of an amazing organization, etc... it was an a memorable experience! FOT helps our environment, our community, and every individual who has the opportunity to be a part of it.