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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

California ReLeaf

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Environmental Beautification, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Mission: California ReLeaf's mission is to empower grassroots efforts and build strategic partnerships that preserve, protect, and enhance California?s urban and community forests.

Results: California ReLeaf is a nonprofit organization working statewide and is dedicated to improving the health and livability of California’s cities by planting and caring for trees. With over 85 partner organizations around the state, California ReLeaf engages volunteers to take action to improve the environment where over 94% of people live: in cities, towns, and metropolitan areas. Together California ReLeaf member organizations have planted and cared for more than 1 million trees with help from over 3 million volunteers.

Target demographics: plant and care for trees and to create healthy, livable communities

Geographic areas served: communities throughout California

Programs: the California ReLeaf Network of urban forest nonprofits, urban forest pass-through grants, outreach and education, and legislative monitoring and advocacy.

Community Stories

86 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

For such a small staff, California ReLeaf does a heck of a job advocating for protecting, enhancing, and expanding urban forests in California. It's been impressive and inspiring to watch them leverage their limited resources to make such big impact on policies affecting our precious urban forest canopy. As someone who's worked with them in coalition, it's also refreshing to work with an organization that is so collaborative - fully capable of pursuing their mission with passion while also seeing the big picture and working in tandem with other organizations as we all work to tackle the big issues of our time (climate change, public health inequity, etc.).


Client Served

Rating: 5

Goleta Valley Beautiful joined California ReLeaf in the 1990’s as a small all volunteer urban forestry organization, about the same time I became involved with both organizations. In those days, annual conferences were a homey affair, usually involving staying overnight at a college dorm in the summer when the facilities weren’t being used by students. As our organizations have matured, we’ve been able to stay on the forefront of what works best in urban forestry through the leadership of California ReLeaf linking us with a statewide army of volunteer organizations. The resources California ReLeaf develops on our behalf are the essential building blocks for sustaining the core of Goleta Valley Beautiful. But while the leadership has changed, and the conferences have become more polished, California ReLeaf is still the go to place for recharging your personal and professional batteries. Joe, Chuck, Ashley and those who have come before and the next generation to come have been treasured colleagues and personal friends. They listen, anticipate, and lead. They help us grow by sharing, and we all prosper because of it. We need more of them.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Without hesitation, I joined California ReLeaf’s board of directors in 2012. California ReLeaf is the only organization that assembles and coordinates a network of community-based groups to support urban and community forests throughout the state.

California ReLeaf is a fiscally responsible organization accomplishing its mission and goals with minimal overhead. The organization’s staff consistently monitors state and federal legislation to influence policy on behalf of urban forestry, and works tirelessly to assist their network members in increasing state-wide knowledge about the myriad benefits of trees in our communities.

In this era of increasing climate-change, the work of California ReLeaf to preserve, protect, and enhance our urban forests is more important than ever. Supporting California ReLeaf assures these good works continue.

Review from Guidestar

1 Rose10

Board Member

Rating: 5

When asked to join the California Releaf Board in 2009, I had only experienced the organization from a network member point of view. As a network member, I was really pleased with the level of support and opportunities provided for highlighting our local activities. During my time on the board, I have had the opportunity to witness and oversee the daily operations and activities of the team and have to say I am so impressed. The same support I received as a network member transferred to my board experience. Monthly staff reports, excellent follow up on questions and financials that demonstrate topknotch fiduciary care. It's a wonderful experience.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When Canopy first joined California ReLeaf, in the mid 1990's, we immediately benefited tangibly from the various programs offered such as access to a network of urban forestry nonprofits for advice and best practices, excellent newsletters and conferences, as well as opportunities to receive tree planting grants.
Since then, California ReLeaf has grown to become the main empowerment agency for our network.
In particular, ReLeaf's successful legislative advocacy efforts give a voice to California's urban forestry/ecosystem nonprofits or groups, most of which are small or volunteer-based.

Review from Guidestar