By Canopy Team on November 4, 2019
This summer, two local Girl Scouts, Willa and Katie, teamed up with Canopy for their Silver Award Project. They collaborated with Community Forestry Manager, Elise Willis, to organize a tree planting in their neighborhood as part of Canopy’s South Palo Alto Tree Initiative. In this post, they share more about their project that culminated in a Midtown neighborhood tree planting on October 5th.
From the very beginning, we both knew that we wanted to do something beneficial for the environment. Willa made contact with Community Forestry Manager Elise Willis, and we reached out to her to see what potential projects we could work on with Canopy. Elise helped us plan out our project to conduct outreach in the Midtown neighborhood and guided us to accomplish our goals.
In preparation for the tree planting in Midtown, we canvassed the entire neighborhood and advertised in many forms. We designed and hung flyers around our local parks and restaurants to ensure that more people were informed.
We divided our neighborhood into segments and canvassed the residential areas, and sometimes knocked on doors to try and convince residents to receive a tree or volunteer at the event.
We paid attention to people’s responses and made sure to go back over areas where there was a lack of response. We would take a trip to Canopy every so often to print out more flyers, put customized informational packets together, and touch base with our advisor, Elise.
We ended up with a total of twenty trees to be planted! It is very exciting to see all of our hard work pay off.
“Working with Willa and Katie has been really fun! They are energetic, organized, and very hard working, and it’s been a pleasure helping them to serve their community. Rather than handing over a plan for them to do, we worked together to craft an outreach plan that would work for Midtown, and I saw them execute the plan with determination I didn’t expect from 8th graders. I hope they keep volunteering with Canopy through high school, they are wonderful young role models,” shares Elise.
For this project, we spent a lot of time outside canvassing. It was a peaceful opportunity to disconnect from our busy lives transitioning to high school. We also got the chance to connect with our community and each other. We started to pay more attention to nature that surrounds our streets.
In addition, we connected with those who signed up for the tree planting. While we were emailing back and forth with residents, some people told us how they loved the project or how much they loved the fact that we are teenagers who care about improving their community.
Many told us about how much they love trees, and why they were excited to get a new one.
One of our favorite tree requests came from Willa’s preschool. We left a flyer under their doormat, and the director emailed us saying she would be like to get a tree planted on their campus. She was incredibly thrilled when she heard that Willa was a Friend’s Nursery School alum.
Willa and the preschool teacher began a sweet email chain about their experiences at the school. Because of our project, Willa had the opportunity to connect with someone she had not spoken to since she was four years old.
Through this project, we met many people who are working to improve the world. We also tried to give others a chance to plant a tree and to better our small neighborhood. We were delighted that everyone we met while working on this project were receptive, kind, and ready to help.
Thank you Willa and Katie!