2016-Gratitude-ReportCanopy’s Impact in 2016

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What a year we had together in 2016! Reflecting on our 20th anniversary, we’re filled with gratitude for everything that the Canopy community made possible—in 2016, and over the the last two decades.

Last year year, our incredible volunteers, donors, partners, and supporters enabled us to:

  • Expand tree planting and tree care programs to new communities with the Growing the Canopy campaign;
  • Partner with fellow conservation nonprofits to advocate for nature in our cities;
  • Invest in youth with hands-on, outdoor science education and urban forest internships;
  • Strengthen our staff team and build capacity to tackle new projects;
  • Launch significant new initiatives (read more in “Looking Ahead” below).

Read more about what we’ve accomplished together in Canopy’s 2016 Gratitude Report (PDF).

2016 By the Numbers

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What you made possible:

Community is core to Canopy’s success and identity. Dedicated volunteers, donors, residents, tree champions, civic leaders, and conservation allies all working together make growing healthy trees possible. Thank you!

More trees where people need them the most

To create a flourishing urban forest for all, Canopy sustains existing urban trees, and expands canopy cover where trees are scarce. With your help this year, we:

  • Kicked off a partnership with the Mountain View Whisman School District, planting trees at two Mountain View Schools.
  • Studied the tree canopy disparity between north and south Palo Alto, and drafted an action plan to bridge the gap.
  • Hosted 26 community tree planting events. Residents of East Palo Alto’s Kavanaugh neighborhood set a new standard with a day of tree planting, neighborhood-wide greening, and a five-star block party (see photos of the Kavanaugh planting).

A voice for urban nature

young-girl-carrying-tree-at-grahamIn an era of climate change and increasing urbanization, preserving nature in our cities is key. Healthy natural ecosystems protect watersheds, sustain wildlife, and support community wellbeing. This year, you helped us expand our efforts as we:

  • Partnered with like-minded organizations including Grassroots Ecology, Audubon Society, California Native Plant Society, and San Francisco Estuary Institute, combining complementary strengths to enhance and sustain the whole urban ecosystem.
  • Took the next step in urban greening by designing plantings that include both trees and compatible drought-tolerant landscape plants.
  • Advocated for smart sustainability measures that recognize the vital role of trees and green infrastructure. We’re working to strengthen key documents like the Palo Alto Comprehensive Plan and Sustainability and Climate Action Plan, and the East Palo Alto General Plan, ensuring that natural ecosystems are protected and prioritized.

A new generation of environmental stewards

Canopy sparks kids’ curiosity about trees and nature, providing opportunities to explore, plant, and care for trees in their community. This year, we expanded two of our core youth programs, engaging more students than ever before through hands-on school lessons and Teen Urban Forester internships.

Looking Ahead

5-year “Healthy Trees, Healthy Kids!” initiative

Following successful completion of our first Healthy Trees, Healthy Kids! initiative, we’re now bringing Canopy’s tree programs to new communities. Over five years, we’ll:

  • Plant 1,000 drought-tolerant trees in new areas of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park, as well as schools in Mountain View and Redwood City.
  • Care for 2,000 young trees to help them thrive. We commit to 3 years of care for newly planted trees to ensure high rates of survival and longevity.
  • Engage 5,000+ youth as stewards and leaders. We’ll expand classroom programs into new schools and employ more Teen Urban Foresters each year.

Growing the Canopy Campaign

The new Healthy Trees, Healthy Kids! initiative is made possible by Growing the Canopy, a campaign to raise $600,000 from individual donors. Thanks to the generosity of early donors during the “quiet phase” of the campaign, we’re nearing our goal and hope to complete the campaign by spring 2017.

Palo Alto Re-Oaking Pilot

Oak trees play a key role in local ecosystems and offer a host of benefits for people and wildlife. Despite protections provided by the Palo Alto tree ordinance, native oak populations continue to decline. In 2017, Canopy will pilot a new re-oaking project, with plans to update the 2002 Oakwell Survey and engage residents to protect and replant oaks in our area.

More trees for south Palo Alto neighborhoods

Building on our recent study, we’ll partner with the City of Palo Alto to increase tree canopy in south Palo Alto neighborhoods. In addition to community street tree plantings, we’ll pilot new programs to help residents plant and preserve trees on private property.

Join us!

Want to help bring nature into neighborhoods? Check out ways to get involved or contact canopy at info@canopy.org or 650-964-6110.

Thanks to all those who grow healthy trees and healthy communities!

Read more about Canopy’s Impact:

2016 Gratitude Report (PDF)
2015 Impact Summary
2014 Impact Summary
2013 Impact Summary
Prior Year Impact Reports (Publications page)

“I was so impressed with the young Canopy volunteers. It is heartening to witness such a can-do attitude among our youth, and Canopy provides a wonderful platform on which skills and appreciation of nature can be built and grown.”

– Stephanie Enos, Canopy Volunteer

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