CANOPY BLOG

Contributing Trees for Cool Blocks and Cool Cities

By Eleanor Laney on June 8, 2018

A special “thank you” from Canopy to the neighbors of the 1100 Block of Emerson Street in Palo Alto, who joined forces this spring to donate 13 Canopy Tree Gifts! We’re inspired by their example of community-based action, and so grateful for their investment in our local urban forests. Here’s the story from Cool Block team leader, Eleanor Laney.

The Cool Block Program: Becoming planet friendly, disaster resilient, and community rich

For the last 4 months, seven Emerson street and Ramona street households in Professorville have participated in a community program called Cool Block.

In a nutshell, Cool Block is a block-based program, currently being piloted in Palo Alto and several other California cities, that brings neighbors together to become more planet-friendly, disaster resilient, and community rich.

Neighbors gather bimonthly with others on their block (or the equivalent) to learn about emergency preparedness, disaster resiliency, water stewardship, neighborly collaboration, sustainability, and reducing our carbon footprint.

Working individually and collaborating as a block, our team has listened to Palo Alto representatives from Zero Waste, Home Efficiency Genie, Palo Alto Environmental Services, and Garden Club of Palo Alto’s Monarch Migration Revival Project. Inspired by these speakers and the action plans provided by an interactive Cool Block website, we have each learned how to take specific actions and accomplished activities in the program’s various topics.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—and Plant Trees!

Our Canopy tree contribution resulted from our block’s collaboration to “reduce, reuse and recycle” (Zero Waste) by holding a 7-family Cinco di Mayo Garage Sale.

Not only did we pass on household items no longer in use instead of putting them in the garbage, but we each contributed part of our proceeds to Canopy – thus fulfilling another Cool Block sustainability action plan: Plant Trees.

Canopy’s work planting trees is a perfect example for us of acting locally to address the problem of climate change, so it was an ideal match. Thirteen tree gifts in all with our garage sale proceeds! The day of the sale, we had a wonderful time replete with music, community, and great bargains. Our environmentally aware neighborhood kids even provided lemonade along with butterfly, bird, and leaf cookies to keep us all going. A memorable time was had by our entire neighborhood and by shoppers who were delighted to shop AND help Canopy’s work planting trees and growing our local urban forests.

Neighborhood kids baked nature-themed cookies to sweeten the day.

Informed, Prepared, and Connected

Throughout the process of attending Cool Block meetings and completing our environmental action plans, our neighborhood block has gotten to know one another better, learned specific actions we can take at home and as a block to address climate change, and we feel much better prepared for future emergencies since our Cool Block neighbors will be there—prepared to help support one another.

Learn more about the Cool Block program

If you’d like more information about the Cool Block program or want to participate in the Cool Block program with your block, you can visit the Cool Block website or contact Sandra Slater, Northern California Project Director, at [email protected].

Stay Cool, everyone!

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