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.).
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.
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
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.
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