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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Canopy

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Forest Conservation, Recycling

Mission: Canopy's mission is to grow urban tree canopy in Midpeninsula communities for the benefit of all. Our vision is a day when every resident of the Mid-Peninsula can walk, play, and in all ways thrive under the shade of healthy trees. Together, we can bring this vision to life!

Results: Canopy grows, protects, and advocates for an essential community resource: urban trees. Founded in Palo Alto in 1996, today Canopy’s branches extend across the Midpeninsula. Each year, we engage thousands of local residents in tree planting and tree care, hands-on education, and grassroots environmental action. Together, we grow the urban forest and create healthy communities where people and nature thrive.

Target demographics: Midpeninsula residents of all ages.

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2017, we planted 355 drought-tolerant trees, tended 2,535 young trees, engaged over 1,560 volunteers, and reached 1,530 kids through educational activities!

Geographic areas served: Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Mountain View, and the greater Midpeninsula area.

Programs: Tree Plantings; Tree Care; Tree Walks; Education and Outreach; Right Tree in the Right Place; Teen Urban Forester Internships; Community Outreach; Advocacy.

Community Stories

64 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Elise from canopy.org led our 3rd grade Brownie troop and chaperone moms on a one-hour walking tour of the neighborhood around our elementary school. She pointed out ~12 different trees, encouraged the girls to touch the bark and to collect leaves and fallen flowers and to share their observations. She talked about native trees vs. imports and how/why their bark, trunks, branches, leaves/needles and fruits/seeds were different and how the trees have adapted to our climate. It was incredibly educational and because the girls were encouraged to collect their own samples and share their own thoughts, it was highly interactive and therefore, I believe, more meaningful. Thank you.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thank you Elise for a highly educational and engaging tree tour of our neighborhood for our first Brownie meeting of the year.

Volunteer

Rating: 2

Good cause, but I didn't have a good experience. I thought it would be a good idea to volunteer on Veteran's Day and help plant trees at the hospital. I wish I could get my time back. The tree planting leaders were unorganized and certain ones were rude and belittling. I felt continuously judged about every little thing: how to take the dirt off the roots, how to hold the tree straight, etc. Then after you plant the tree the leaders pick over your work. It just wasn't a good experience for me. I hope they treat future volunteers better.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Canopy is a wonderful organization with a focused and thoughtful mission, providing service and education in both affluent and challenged communities, and offering opportunities for youth internships and local volunteers. Everything starts with the great people who staff and guide Canopy. This organization is a true gem for the SF Peninsula!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Canopy and donated to Canopy for the past four years. They are a small team of dedicated, passionate, skilled employees who leverage their fantastic board and volunteers to make a big difference. They serve the community in so many ways--not just planting, not just educating, not just pruning and mulching, not just advocacy-- their full perspective on the urban forest make them a very effective organization.
Also, I really admire how they give jobs and job training to East Palo Alto teens. It makes the organization more effective in East Palo Alto and makes a huge difference for the teens who are part of the program.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wonderful volunteers, project managers and a very important cause! It's better to dig the planting holes by machine \uD83D\uDE0A

Client Served

Rating: 5

Contributing to the environment and wellbeing of people. Wonderful volunteers. Could drill planting holes by machine rather than by shovel.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We're very grateful to Canopy for planting an avocado tree in our front yard. I ended up volunteering to help with the tree planting, and I was impressed by the organization of the event. Every staff member I met was friendly, knowledgeable, and more than willing to answer tree-related questions. Thanks, Canopy, for the great work!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A great way to get outside, be active, and meet great people who also care about the environment and giving back to the community. I used to work at Canopy and continue to volunteer there because of the people-- the staff and other volunteers really create a sense of community. Canopy provides all the tools and training so it's great for people who are just getting into volunteering, who like hands-on tasks, or students who need hours for school. There are opportunities year round so you can go once or multiple times, but you'll always feel accomplished at the end of the day because you actually do work and get to see the result of your labor at the end. Sometimes there are miscellaneous tasks or opportunities for volunteering in their office, so don't hesitate to reach out to them if you are interested in other tasks besides tree planting. Also, if you are not into volunteering and just need information, they are a great resource to learn about tree species, tree issues, and for drought information. In my experience, the people at Canopy are always happy to hear from the public and answer questions.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Helped plant trees with them this Saturday. They were very nice about teaching me what to do and offering any help I needed. Had a great time!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Canopy is an outstanding example of a tree-focused community-benefit organization.
I have worked with Canopy (for three years, as of Oct 2016) on technical aspects of tree planting and care, and have noticed that they are remarkably proactive and forward-thinking in ensuring that the planted trees survive, grow, and actually provide the benefits that urban trees can provide. I note that Canopy not only has great links and is actively engaged with the local communities they serve, but the organization is also well-connected to local experts and arborists (and, not surprisingly, those two reasons are a part of why Canopy-planted trees look and perform great!).

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found out about Canopy not long ago, and recently participated in one of their tree planting event at a middle school and attended two of their tree walks. All of these events were very well run and organized. Canopy's staff seem very knowledgable and passionate about what they do.

I am impressed by what Canopy has done for the community in the past 20 years! I think they originally started in Palo Alto, and now is also doing good work in East Palo Alto, Redwood City and Mountain View.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Today Canopy led a terrific planting event at one of our local middle schools. They brought together volunteers including school parents and children, Canopy volunteers, Boy Scouts and congregants from a local church. The event was perfectly planned from A to Z, putting dozens and dozens of adults and children to work on beautifying the school property. Thanks for your ability to organize so carefully and to make the experience both enjoyable and a good use of our time.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Canopy plants and takes care of a lot of trees! I have been to two of their training programs, and they are approachable and dedicated. I am so glad for the education they provide to children and for the work they do in the world.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a board member at Canopy for a year now and hands-down this is one of the best nonprofits that I have worked with so far. The staff are amazing and dedicated to Canopy’s mission and they do an exceptional job of stretching every dollar donated to the maximum extent possible. The staff work really hard and go the extra mile to make every project a success. Their Teen Urban Foresters program has been phenomenal in cultivating new youth leaders who start playing a very active role in the community and in being great stewards care of the environment at such an early age. Canopy’s tree planting and tree care educational programs have been instrumental in ensuring healthy trees in the communities that they serve. Great programs, Exceptional people, Strong focus on the mission leads to Healthy Trees, Healthy Communities!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Canopy has been a great opportunity for me, not only to get more involved with my community as a volunteer in high school, but also as an intern in college. Canopy is a force of good that makes all contributors feel recognized and appreciated, while simultaneously realizing significant change. Canopy has influenced me for seeing the change that an engaged community can accomplish, and has also provided terrific experience working in the nonprofit world as I start my career.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a planting leader with Canopy for almost three years. They have strong partnerships with the local school districts and cities, which make them an especially successful organization. There are some exceptionally strong staff members and very committed board members.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been planting with Canopy for some years, but not for some time until this past weekend. In the interim, the organization has become stronger, the staff has gotten even professional, and the volunteers more energized. And many of those were young folks from neighboring schools willing to come out on a Saturday morning, rolling up their sleeves and contributing their efforts to improve our urban canopy. Thank you Canopy.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Canopy is made up of an amazing group of dedicated professionals who know how to plant trees where they are most needed while also educating students and volunteers how to be stewards of the environment. Canopy is also successful at pulling together a variety of groups to leverage resources to maximize their positive impact. Over the last two decades, they have done a lot to improve our urban forest.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have loved working with Canopy. Their dedicated and skilled volunteers, and their ready partnerships with other organizations, and their follow-through will benefit our Head Start center's children and families for years to come. Though it took over a year to receive all the approvals needed, and jump through all of the bureaucratic hoops of a federal contractor, Canopy was able to plant over 10 trees and rescue several others that had been previously planted incorrectly. It warms my heart so much to think that the children and families and teachers at Laurel will, for years to come, enjoy the trees, have some shade, learn from their seasonal changes and the gifts of fruit they will bring.