By Canopy Team on August 17, 2021
Arlene joined Canopy in July 2021 as a Community Forestry Coordinator, specifically working on the Branching Out program in East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks, and Belle Haven. We asked Arlene a few questions to get to know her better:
Arlene: I graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Science Environmental Studies with a minor in Restoration. I grew up in Orange County but moved to Santa Clara to study at SJSU and have been involved with environmental nonprofits all around the south bay since. Some of my favorite pastimes have been helping with bio blitzes, creek cleanups, teaching watershed health and garden education to elementary students, and helping work on native landscape conversions on campus. All of these efforts and experiences have solidified my passion for cultivating environmentally sustainable practices within culture and community.
Arlene: Trees in an urban setting can help ensure community health and wellbeing by providing shade, regulating local climate and offsetting noise and air pollution, but the benefits do not stop there. A vibrant and healthy urban forest (trees!) can address a crucial point where social, environmental and health issues intersect, making it significant in today’s worsening climate crisis.
Arlene: I am excited to work with our communities to fortify our urban forests and help spark stronger relationships with the natural parts of our world. I’m especially excited to be a part of tree plantings in outdoor classrooms and in schools where kids can bask in the benefits while seeing and feeling the growth around them.
Arlene: My favorite tree is the California buckeye (Aesculus californica). It can live up to 300 years, is one of the first that I see blooming in early spring hikes and I love the way its branches meander through other trees and shrubs to reach the most amount of sunlight possible.
Arlene: “In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught.” – Baba Dioum
Arlene: Hiking, camping, crocheting, lots of family time and laying under trees
Arlene: So far I’ve loved working with Canopy staff, TUFs and community members who are all dedicated to and passionate about Canopy’s mission of increasing our urban forest. I’m glad to be a part of something so important that helps create vibrant and healthy communities for all.
Thanks, Arlene! We’re so glad to have you on the Canopy team!