A Fond Farewell to Michael Hawkins

By Canopy Team on March 13, 2020

After ten years as Canopy’s Program Director, we bid a fond farewell to Michael Hawkins.

Much of what makes Canopy a strong organization today is thanks in large part to Michael’s years of leadership. His success in managing large projects and sense of innovation have ensured the consistent growth of Canopy’s tree programs.

When Michael joined Canopy in 2010, he was one of three hardworking and committed staff members. Or, as Michael likes to call them, “scrappy”. Now, the organization has grown to ten full time staff members and thirteen paid interns. By hiring and training many long term staff members, Michael helped shape Canopy’s culture. 

He has played an integral role in the success of many of Canopy’s programs over the years. During his time as Program Director, he has planted more than 3,300 trees, engaged thousands of volunteers, and created meaningful connections with community partners.

One of the most meaningful contributions Michael can be acknowledged for is Canopy’s Teen Urban Forester internship program. These internships have since inspired dozens of East Palo Alto high school students to become leaders in their community. 

Michael’s extensive training and knowledge of arboriculture has helped create a healthy, thriving urban forest in the Midpeninsula. He has done so much for Canopy and we are all grateful for his ten years of dedication to the organization.

Beyond his professional contributions, we will miss his optimism, humor, and kind nature. Michael is always willing to help and support his colleagues in any way he can. He has a unique way of seeing the world and is constantly sharing new ideas.

Michael remains open to personal growth and change. This is evident in his decision to explore life beyond Canopy. Although we will miss Michael, we are excited to see what he decides to do next.

We wish him nothing but the best!

Michael has set us up for success by leaving Canopy’s tree programs in the hands of Elise Willis. We are excited to share that Elise is Canopy’s new Tree Programs Director, and look forward to sharing more about her in the coming months.

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