Better Ground


How To Preserve and Expand Healthy Community Forests

Through stewardship, on-the-ground urban forestry work happens, involving the whole community, and for the long haul. Stewardship encompasses the preservation and protection of mature trees, the restoration of important ecosystems, and planting in areas to improve equity and human health.

Considerations about STEWARDSHIP

  • Retention and protection of mature trees (especially conifers) and native forest remnants provide exponentially more value and benefit than planting trees and restoration.
  • Public engagement in all phases of a project is critical for long-term success.
  • Be aware of the need to balance equity with human health and climate resilience when engaging neighborhoods through greening efforts; partner with residents and businesses to build programs that ensure long-term stewardship while supporting community needs (see below for resources).
  • Identifying “climate ready” tree species is a dynamic endeavor and requires elongated time between growing and supplying tree stock for restoration and new plantings.

Resource Links by Topic

  • Whatcom Million Trees Project – A non-profit with a mission to plant and protect one-million trees in the county “to urgently address climate and biodiversity crises and to enhance the health and resilience of our local communities.”
  • Grit City TreesTacoma’s annual program providing free trees, education, and assistance to equitably grow happy and healthy neighborhoods, utilizing the city’s Equity Index Map.
  • Chesapeake Bay Tree Stewards – A variety of programs across the multi-state region in the Chesapeake Bay Tree Network.