COVID-19 Policies and Safety Protocols

During the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting the health and well-being of our volunteers, staff, and community is our highest priority at Canopy. These safety protocols and policies are updated regularly to ensure that they comply fully with the latest public health guidelines and will be followed until further notice. Please read on to know more about our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how we have adapted our programming.

View our Volunteer Self-Assessment Checklist and our Staff Self-Assessment Checklist that participants are required to review before each event.

Self-Evaluated Risk Assessment

  • Any staff and volunteers that are feeling sick or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 are required to stay at home. Temperature checks with touch-free thermometers may be administered by Canopy staff upon volunteer arrival and check-in. Volunteer health screening questions may be asked at some events.
  • If staff or volunteers have contracted COVID-19 or made contact with someone who is sick, they must quarantine for at least 14 days, and test negative, before they are allowed to participate.
  • Staff and volunteers in an elevated risk category should consider the risks of working in public spaces; the primary activities are done outside.

Social Distancing

  • Canopy staff travel to all project sites in separate vehicles. We encourage volunteers to do the same (one household per vehicle), to reduce the risk of virus spread.
  • Staff and volunteers will maintain social distance (a minimum of 6 feet apart from each other and any member of the public).
  • Registration for events will be done online before the event, no walk-ups allowed on the day of the event. Group size will be limited, and shift registration is first-come, first-served. When you arrive, stand 6 feet apart to check-in verbally with the staff at the Canopy table. Check-in at the event is touch-free.


  • All staff and volunteers are required to practice good hygiene. Hand washing is available at some sites, and Canopy will provide hand sanitizer at all sites.
  • Staff and volunteers must have a comfortably fitting mask. All are asked to arrive on-site at the beginning of the day wearing their masks. Staff will let volunteers know if it is acceptable to remove masks (e.g. when fieldwork is sufficiently spread out, allowing ample social distancing).
  • Participants will be reminded to avoid touching their face, nose, and eyes.

Safety Supplies

  • Staff and volunteers should bring their own work gloves and face mask. Canopy has some gloves that can be lent out for the day.
  • Canopy disinfects, washes, or leaves tools unused for 4+ days, per accepted protocols.
  • Wearing work gloves when holding tools is required. Tool sharing should be minimal.
  • All staff and volunteers will bring their own personal supplies, including a face mask, sunblock, water, snacks, etc. Sharing is not permitted.

Fieldwork Adaptations

  • Fieldwork (tree planting, tree care, tree surveys, etc) will be done through smaller events and limited numbers of volunteers. For now, we will rely more on our trained volunteers and partner volunteer groups, especially from the neighborhoods where each event is taking place.
  • We will have occasional opportunities for the general public to volunteer, but this will be limited until the pandemic situation improves. We will keep volunteers informed of events through our Volunteer Wire newsletter.
  • Through self-assessments, temperature checks, mask and glove wearing, tool cleaning, and keeping activities outdoors, we are confident that our fieldwork poses limited risk to volunteers, staff, and the public. While social distancing will be enforced as much as possible, there are activities during tree planting that can cause people to work within 6 feet of one another for a short time. While we are confident that this poses very low risk, we will continue to prioritize grouping by household when possible, to ensure a comfortable environment for all.
  • Air Quality check is an essential part of the staff and volunteer safety, and Canopy uses the Purple Air sensor index to help staff assess air quality. Canopy’s policy is to cancel public outdoor events if the AQI is 151 or higher but may cancel if AQI is between 101-150, depending on the activity and staff discretion.

Read our recent blog about changes to the 2020-2021 tree planting season.

The policies and procedures outlined above are available in a downloadable PDF format.

Ongoing Monitoring

The staff at Canopy is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 virus and are tracking the following resources to stay up-to-date:

Any questions or concerns regarding these guidelines can be directed to [email protected].

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