Meet Elise Willis, Our New Community Forester

By Canopy Team on July 18, 2016

Last year, Elise worked at Canopy part-time to study the tree canopy cover disparity between north and south Palo Alto. Now, we are thrilled to welcome her as a full-time member of the team. Here’s a quick update from Elise about her exciting new role:

More Oaks, More South Palo Alto Tree Plantings

I’ll be working on two exciting projects: (1) developing programs to invigorate re-oaking efforts in Palo Alto, and (2) a brand new tree planting campaign to increase canopy cover in south Palo Alto.

We’ll start by laying the groundwork. Building on my research from last year, we’ll develop and pilot new programs to engage the community in south Palo Alto, and incentivize planting new trees on both public and private land.

Next year, we’ll work with local partners to analyze and update the Oakwell Survey, which Canopy volunteers completed from 1997-2002. We’ll assess the changes in native oaks populations in Palo Alto over the last 20 years. From there, we’ll look at ways to increase oak populations.

Well-versed in Palo Alto trees

Before joining Canopy, I worked part-time for the City of Palo Alto, checking building permit plans for the City’s Public Works Urban Forestry group, and ensuring that regulated trees are properly protected during site development.

I am very familiar with Palo Alto’s Tree Ordinance, Tree Technical Manual, and general city processes as I regularly provided information to residents and realtors at the public counter in the Palo Alto Development Center. I am also an ISA Certified Arborist and glad to be assisting with Canopy’s Tree Hotline. 

Look forward to meeting you all!

I’m excited to get outside to plant and care for trees with community members, starting with pilot neighborhoods in south Palo Alto. See you in the field!

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