A toast to Catherine - celebrating 18 years of transformational leadership

Sunday, March 19, 2023 | 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. | Mitchell Park Community Center, Palo Alto

Thank you all for joining us on March 19th to raise a toast to Catherine and for being part of the effort to recognize a special leader for the impact of her work. We thank you for being our guest and thoroughly enjoyed gathering with so many of you!

Jack Owiki of Pro Bono Photo, who has documented many Canopy events over the years, captured many of you in wonderful photographs reflecting on the transformative leadership of Catherine Martineau and her ability to bring joy! The photos are shared on our Canopy Flickr page. We hope you enjoy them as much as we are! And if you couldn’t make it, feel free to take a look!

About the event

The sprawling branches of a beautiful Valley Oak will serve as the fitting backdrop for a simple but lively reception at Mitchell Park Community Center in Palo Alto as we gather for festive refreshments, local wine, and the chance to send Catherine into retirement in true Canopy style.

With Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian as our inimitable emcee, we’ll reflect on Catherine’s 18 years of transformational leadership, toast her lasting impact, and celebrate the enduring community of tree champions who continue to grow a vibrant urban forest for all.

3:30 p.m. – Refreshments and Mingling

4:30 p.m. – Brief program and toasts

5:15 p.m. – Join us for dessert

~ We look forward to seeing you there! ~

Building on 18 years of impact: Catherine Martineau Legacy Fund

When the Canopy team learned that Catherine would retire, we asked how we could give her the best possible send-off. Her immediate response: “Invest in the continued success of Canopy and the trees!”

As we prepare for Catherine’s retirement bash on 3/19, we’re also excited to announce the launch of the Catherine Martineau Legacy Fund. Our goal is to raise $300,000 by June 30, 2023 and we’d be honored to have your participation.

Thank you for joining us to celebrate Catherine and continue growing a tree-filled future!

Catherine’s Lasting Impact

When Catherine Martineau took the helm of Canopy in 2004, it was a fledgling Palo Alto-centric nonprofit with one other part-time staff and a dedicated team of volunteer leaders. Catherine’s energizing presence, can-do spirit, and natural curiosity quickly brought about new opportunities for the organization and its mission.

When Pat Foster, then Mayor of East Palo Alto, approached the Canopy board about planting trees to mitigate the alarming rates of childhood asthma in her city, Catherine knew the answer was yes. She and the board helped secure funding and Catherine boldly invited Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai to come to East Palo Alto to help launch the project.

The resulting partnership with the City of East Palo Alto began a new era of expanded Canopy tree planting, advocacy, and youth programs, one inspired by a vision of a day when everyone can step outside to walk, play, and thrive under the shade of healthy trees.

Early planning meeting (2006) for the East Palo Alto Tree Initiative. From left: Pat Foster, Catherine Martineau, Susan Rosenberg, and Marty Deggeller.

Today, Canopy is a regional, sector-leading organization with 18 permanent staff, 16 Teen Urban Forester interns, and active programs in five Midpeninsula communities. Because of its track record of success, cities across the Bay Area and beyond look to Canopy as a model of grassroots advocacy and engagement.

This growth has been a true team effort, as Catherine is quick to emphasize, made possible by Canopy’s incredible volunteers, donors, and partners. But through it all, Catherine provided a guiding light, infusing her expansive sense of possibility, her example of partnership-based advocacy, and her unwavering commitment to a vibrant, tree-filled future for all.

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