Deeply Rooted: Connecting communities and trees for 25 years

Saturday, June 18, 2022 | 11am – 2pm | Eastside College Preparatory School

Thank you for joining us!

For 25 years, Canopy has been putting down roots in Midpeninsula communities, planting trees and connecting people with nature in their neighborhoods.

On Saturday, June 18, Canopy friends and supporters gathered for an outdoor birthday bash and fundraiser to celebrate the communities that have nurtured our work along the way and envision how we’ll continue to grow the life-giving urban tree canopy together. View photos here.

Our profound thanks to everyone who joined the festivities or contributed to support the event!

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, award-winning ecologist, researcher, and science educator known as “the Queen of the Forest Canopy.”

Emcee

Joe Simitian, Santa Clara County supervisor, former state senator, longtime Canopy friend, and event host extraordinaire

25th Anniversary Tree Champion Honorees

It takes a village to grow the urban forest!

Throughout Canopy’s history, tree champions from across sectors and communities have lent their unique talents and dedication to plant and care for trees where they are needed the most, nurture young leaders, and advocate for tree-filled neighborhoods.

As part of our 25th anniversary festivities, Canopy was proud and grateful to honor these champions, whose contributions continue to make a lasting impact, along with the key groups they represent.

Susan Rosenberg

Representing Founders and Board Alumni

Susan’s love of trees started in childhood. She admired the majestic native oaks of the Salinas Valley which she considered her wise old friends. In 1994, Susan and her kids left their Palo Alto home for a year to pursue a landscape design program in Massachusetts. When she returned, she learned about Palo Alto’s Tree Task Force and got involved. Thanks to the hard work and advocacy of Susan and her fellow members, the Tree Task Force grew into what is now Canopy and Susan was a founding board member. “Back then,” she shares, “we were just tree huggers. Then the science around trees began to grow, and Canopy’s work took on a whole new significance.”

Since those early days, Susan has continued to nurture the organization and its mission in transformative ways as Board Chair, Governance Committee Chair, volunteer extraordinaire, generous donor, trusted advisor, community ambassador, and tireless champion. In 2015, Susan spearheaded Canopy’s first-ever multi-year campaign, “Growing the Canopy,” and contributed one of the campaign’s lead gifts. She has consistently opened both her heart and her home to the Canopy community, hosting myriad parties, gatherings, and meetings in her beautiful garden. Throughout it all, Susan and her can-do spirit have been a constant source of encouragement, wisdom, and inspiration for the entire Canopy family.

Marty Deggeller

Representing Volunteers and Donors

It’s doubtful that anybody at Canopy has planted as many trees as Marty Deggeller! Marty joined Canopy as a volunteer and board member in 2000 and has been among the organization’s most dedicated volunteers and impactful leaders ever since. Marty has worn almost every hat that exists at Canopy, from chairing the board and program committee and spearheading projects in the field to keeping the organization’s operations and finances running smoothly behind the scenes.

Marty is both a thinker and a doer, and has lent both talents in spades to keep Canopy’s programs growing and serving the community for decades. He’s been instrumental in seeking out new opportunities for tree planting and community partnership, and has helped secure pivotal funding, including Canopy’s state CAL FIRE grants. Not to mention the famous home-smoked salmon he’s provided for many a Canopy party!

At every event, Marty’s love for planting trees, leading volunteers, and bringing people together stand out through his warm welcome, patient teaching, sunny smile, and ready chuckle. 

Marty has done all this alongside hundreds, even thousands of fellow volunteers and donors—many of whom Marty has recruited personally! This group of passionate, generous, and dedicated people have powered Canopy’s work from the very beginning. Their invaluable contributions of time, talent, and treasure continue to inspire and make possible Canopy’s impact today.

Pat Foster

Representing Community Leaders and Officials

As the Mayor of East Palo Alto in 2005, Pat Foster asked Canopy to bring more trees to her community. Data showed that children in East Palo Alto were hospitalized for asthma at significantly higher rates than in neighboring communities, and she recognized the critical health benefits that more trees could bring to her constituents. Pat tirelessly championed the project among the City Council and was a key partner in Canopy’s planning process, ensuring local community priorities stayed front and center. With her friendly, fun, and persistent personality, Pat doesn’t take no for an answer when it comes to the future of her community. Her advocacy for trees ensured the success of these early East Palo Alto planting projects and laid a foundation for the city’s visionary new Urban Forest Master Plan.

Elected officials like Pat have been key partners for Canopy since the very beginning, when the organization’s work started as the City of Palo Alto Tree Task Force. Policy is a critical lever in growing equitable urban canopy cover, and elected officials like Pat show up every day to make it happen and serve the community. Local officials have also recognized Canopy as a key link between the city and community and have partnered closely to engage, educate, and connect residents with the urban forest around them.

Eric Perez

Representing Teen Urban Forester

Eric Perez’s most notable characteristic is his enthusiastic approach to everything he does.  He has genuine interest in trees, the urban forest, and the large-scale environmental impact that can result when people work together.  He is a connector, and during his four-year tenure as a Teen Urban Forester, he inspired fellow high school students, welcomed volunteers, and was a Canopy liaison to residents of his community. Eric is great ambassador and spokesperson for the urban forest and for Canopy’s work—from teaching and mentoring young students to steward trees on their school campuses, to speaking at Canopy’s events, and sharing about the benefits of trees with his neighbors—Eric truly does speak for the trees.  He continues to pursue his passion for the environment through his studies and leadership roles at Georgetown University, and positive change continues to ripple from everything he puts his heart into. 

Youth leaders like Eric have been instrumental in Canopy’s work since 2007, when we first piloted the “Youth Staff” program. With their fresh ideas, willingness to take action, and hope for the future, these high school students have a unique ability to engage and inspire others, bringing the rest of the community along as they care for trees, local neighborhoods, and each other.

Walter Passmore, CalFire

Representing Institutional Funders

As the first Urban Forester for the City of Palo Alto, Walter Passmore helped transform the city’s tree department and spearheaded Palo Alto’s first Urban Forest Master Plan in 2015. His vision and hard work elevated the city to a leader in urban forestry that cities around the world look to for inspiration when managing their own urban forests.

Walter has been a key partner to Canopy, working closely with the organization to engage residents in stewarding tree canopies throughout Palo Alto neighborhoods. Now in his role as the Urban Forest Program Manager at CAL FIRE, Walter continues to champion urban forests at the state level, including developing projects such as the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan to preserve our trees for future generations of Californians.

Leaders like Walter and the institutions they guide—including state agencies like CAL FIRE, local governments and their staff, and private foundations—have played a transformational role in growing Canopy’s programs and impact. CalFire in particular has provided multi-year funding for critical initiatives like Branching Out, which funds tree planting in neighborhoods where tree cover is scarce due to historical development patterns, investing in more environmentally just communities.

Nico Janik

Representing Schools

Since 2011, Canopy has planted thousands of trees with students and families on the school campuses throughout the Ravenswood City School District. Thanks to Nico Janik, these plantings have been accompanied by hands-on science lessons for students to learn about and care for trees outside their classrooms.

As the STEM Coordinator for the district, Nico has maintained and expanded Canopy’s partnerships with the district and fellow environmental nonprofits, helping us reach every school in the district and ensuring equitable opportunities for students to learn from Canopy’s staff and volunteers under the shade of healthy trees. Nico has been a long-time thought partner, our go-to for questions and resources, and our liaison to principals and teachers for almost nine years. She guided our curriuculm development to align lessons with the Next Generation Science Standards and trained Canopy’s staff and education volunteers on teaching approaches that are inclusive and engaging for all students.  

Partnerships with schools have helped Canopy work alongside districts to plant trees with children and for children, in the areas where they learn and play. These school partnerships transform communities by improving the health of students, inspiring these children as the next generation of environmental stewards, and connecting families with tangible ways they can support their communities.

Jason Shirar

Representing Arborists and Landscape Professionals

As a Consulting Arborist at S.P. McClennahan, Jason Shirar is a very busy guy! Nevertheless, he always makes time for Canopy whenever we ask for his help. Jason started volunteering with Canopy in 2015 and was a guiding member of the first Tree Care Task Force, ensuring that Canopy-planted trees receive the care they need to establish and thrive.  He is an educator at heart and genuinely wants people to love, know about, and care for trees as much as he does. He is always willing to share his professional expertise with the community by leading tree walks, writing blog posts, and teaching classes to local residents as part of Canopy’s Community Forestry School. It’s impossible not to be in awe of trees after a program with Jason! It is not uncommon for Jason to pop into the Canopy office with an interesting seed pod or tree branch and we have him to thank for our growing inventory of tree treasures that we share with students and community members alike.

Arborists and other tree professionals like Jason have been contributing their expertise to Canopy’s programs since the beginning, ensuring that Canopy’s programs and methods are grounded in science and guided by industry best practices. These practitioners’ willingness to share knowledge with the whole community has made Canopy a trusted, go-to resource for learning about local trees and their care.

Peying Lee

Representing Grassroots Advocates

Peying Lee’s love for the outdoors and her community have inspired her to be a vocal advocate for growing the urban forest in her home of Mountain View. Peying was a member of Canopy’s first Community Forestry School cohort in 2019. Since then, she’s been a valuable member of Canopy’s advocacy committee and a field planting leader. Channeling her inner “Energizer Bunny,” Peying joins Mountain View city council and commission meetings regularly to advocate around issues including the community tree master plan update, developing with trees in mind, and prioritizing the urban forest in city planning and budgeting. She acts as a liasion between Canopy and GreenspacesMV, a grassroots advocacy coalition in Mountain View, and her community-minded work is helping Mountain View’s urban canopy grow fuller each year.

Advocating for community trees has always been a core part of Canopy’s work, and dedicated residents like Peying have been a driving force in transforming the urban landscape of Midpeninsula communities. As one Canopy board member quipped, “you can plant more trees with a pen than a shovel.” Passionate residents like Peying, actively invested in the future of their communities, have helped strengthen urban forestry legislation, planning, and practices throughout Canopy’s service area and beyond.

 

Special thanks to event supporters

These generous donors and sponsors support local tree planting, tree care, hands-on nature education, high school internships, urban forest advocacy, and more. Thank you for your support!

 

Business Sponsors

Individual Supporters

25th Anniversary Match Funders

These generous funders are matching every donation on event day and immediately afterwards up to $40,000. Post-event, we still have $5,500 to go—you can have your gift doubled here through July 31, 2022 thanks to them!

Susan Ellis and Mark Linton

Susan Rosenberg

Canopy Board of Directors
Kammy Lo
Dave Armstrong
Maria Chai
Mary Dateo
Uriel Hernandez
Marilyn Keller
Rachel Knowles
Laura Martinez
Kirsten Mouradian
Sally O’Neil
Holly Pearson

Individual Donors & Sponsors

Tree Canopy Champion

Susan Ellis and Mark Linton
Kammy Lo and Kowsik Guruswamy
Susan Rosenberg

Neighborhood Nurturer

Janice Brody and Bruce Rule
Matthieu Devin and Catherine Granger

Orchard Explorer

Dave and Federica Armstrong
Nancy Drapkin & Laurie Jarrett
William Reller
Georgia and Alan Rittenberg

Grove Steward

Haydi and Damon Danielson
Maika Horjus and Jim Puls
Peling Lee and Colin Monkute
Kirsten and Stephane Mouradian
Doria Summa and Robert Phillips

Planting Partner

Samuel Bengio
Diana Chapman Walsh and Chris Walsh
Mary and Christopher Dateo
Marty and Judy Deggeller
Larry Klein and Milbrey McLaughlin
Geetanjli and Kuldeep Dhanjal
Gary and Patricia Hedden
Sue and Jerry Krumbein
Debbie and Doug Kundrat
Catherine and Pierre Martineau
Christophe and Virginie Métivier
Lynn Mitchell
Christel and Jean-Marc Parmentier
Holly Pearson and Darius Moshfeghi
Nancy Peterson
Gail Schubert
Roger Smith and Judy Kay
Thierry Sornasse
Evelyn Zhan

Oak Friend

Ron and Elaine Andrews
Antony Awaida
Maria Chai
Urban Cummings and Christine Clark
Agnès Devin
Edma Dumanian
Kwame and SueAnn Eason
Jerry Hearn and Rebecca Reynolds
Jesse and Kristin Herzog
Marilyn Keller and Jeff Greenfield
Beth Lim
Sally O’Neil and Ken Bencala
Karen Pace
Sairus Patel and David Keyon
Forest Preston, III
Nadine Rambeau
Susie Richardson and Hal Luft
Sabine and Andre Rohe
Liz Schwerer and Kingston Duffie
Marilyn Smith
Susan Stansbury and Cédric de la Beaujardière
Kathy and Page Thibodeaux
Carl and Susan Thomsen
Kathy and Mike Torgersen
Anita and Michael Weickert

Maple Friend

Carla Befera
Ann and Ken Bilodeau
Michael Closson and Catherine Milton
Maia and Greg Coladonato
Sibby Coxhead
Leif and Sharon Erickson
Susan Feist
Alison Hicks
Joe and Bette Hirsch
Philip and Christiana Jonas
Arthur Keller
John and Kathleen Kelly
Wendy Lao and James Mok
Selena Lau
Jane Manning
Laura Martinez and Fernando Costa
Elizabeth May
Merrill and Lee Newman
Girvin and Lesley Peters
Kevin and Kim Raftery
Jeff Schmidt
Jeannie Siegman
Hope Soforenko and David Gerken
Tracy Wingrove
Joyce Yin and Jeff Liu

Grassroots Benefactor

Amy Baggott
Gwendolyn Barry
Joyce Beattie and Stan Stratton
Willa Bednarz and Family
Beverly Benson and Jim Soland
Cindy Blain
Bernadette Callahan
Stephanie and IB Chang
Annie Chiou
Devon Conley
Michelle Daher
Winter Dellenbach and Gerry Masteller
Tom DuBois and Masoko Yokota
Naresh Duggal
Bruce England
Stephanie Enos
Matthew Feisthamel
Bob Fisk
Eric Folmer
Pat Foster
Rona Giffard and Robert Robson
Lynette and Amy Gillson
Peter and Emily Gollinger
Laurie Gould
Maury Green
Anne Grillot
Melanie Grondel
Nicholas Hargis
Margot Harrigan
Michael Hawkins
Uriel Hernandez
Katie Herzog and James Kennard
Karen Holman
Stephanie Huang
Joan and Bob Jack
Megha Karthik
Rachel Knowles
Brian Kosinski
Karen Kwan
Patricia Larenas
Ed Lauing
Peying Lee
Danielle Lee
Roy Leggitt and Courtney Clarkson
Antonio Lopez
Peggy Lopipero-Langmo
Scott Marshall
Stepheny McGraw
Dave Muffly
Laura and Craig Norris
Claudia Olalla
Geoff and Janine Paulsen
Sandie Pearson
Maya Perkins
Lucas Ramirez
Kay and Donald Remsen
Laura and Mark Robichek
Rob Ruskin
Heidi Schwenk
Nancy and Mark Shepherd
Jason Shirar and Martha Loza
Megan Swezey Fogarty and Michael Fogarty
Sue Thiemann and Bill Faustman
Carol Thomsen
Lisa Van Dusen and John Kelley
Mary Vincent
Cheryl Walterskirchen
Anna Waring
Elliott and Rachel Wright

 

Gift Dedications

Many donors dedicated their gifts to one of Canopy’s honorees or another special person. Thank you for your thoughtful dedications:

Antony Awaida
in honor of Marty Deggeller

Amy Baggott
in honor of Kammy Lo

Carla Befera
in honor of Susan Rosenberg

Janice Brody and Bruce Rule
in honor of Catherine Martineau

Annie Chiou
in honor of Peying Lee

Urban Cummings and Christine Clark
in honor of Susan Rosenberg and Marty Degeller

Michelle Daher
in honor of Pat Foster

Agnès Devin
in honor of Catherine Martineau

Bruce England
in honor of Peying Lee

Stephanie Enos
in honor of Natalie Brubaker and Vanessa Wyns

Leif and Sharon Erickson
in honor of Catherine

Susan Feist
in honor of Catherine Martineau

Dr. Maurice Green
in honor of Gisele Green

Melanie Grondel
in honor of Susan Rosenberg

Jerry Hearn and Rebecca Reynolds
in honor of Pat Foster

Jerry Hearn and Rebecca Reynolds
in honor of Pat Foster

Uriel Hernandez
in honor of All of the local tree champions!

Jesse and Kristin Herzog
in honor of Susan Rosenberg

Katie Herzog and James Kennard
in honor of Susan Rosenberg

Alison Hicks
in honor of Peying Lee

Karen Holman
in honor of Holly Pearson

Nancy Hope Soforenko and David Deke Gerken
in honor of Marty Deggeller

Stephanie Huang
in honor of Peying Lee

Joan and Bob Jack
in honor of Nancy Drapkin

Larry Klein and Milbrey McLaughlin
in honor of Susan Rosenberg

Selena Lau
in honor of Peying Lee

Peling Lee and Colin Monkute
in honor of Peying Lee

Roy Leggitt and Courtney Clarkson
in honor of Susan Rosenberg

Kammy Lo and Kowsik Guruswamy
in honor of all the Tree Champion Honorees

Catherine and Pierre Martineau
in honor of Marty Deggeller

Stepheny McGraw
in honor of Susan Rosenberg

Christophe and Virginie Métivier
in honor of Catherine Martineau

Lynn Mitchell
in honor of David W. Mitchell

Sally O’Neil and Ken Bencala
in honor of Susan Rosenberg

Sairus Patel and David Keyon
in honor of Susan Rosenberg

Geoff and Janine Paulsen
in honor of Dorothy Lee

Sandie Pearson
in honor of Board Members and Volunteers

Maya Perkins
in honor of Pat Foster

Nadine Rambeau
in honor of Uriel Hernandez

Bill Reller
in honor of Susan Rosenberg

Georgia and Alan Rittenberg
in honor of Susan Rosenberg

Sabine and Andre Rohe
in honor of Kammy Lo

Rob Ruskin
in honor of Marty Deggeller

Jeff Schmidt
in honor of Alexander Schmidt

Gail Schubert
in honor of Susan Rosenberg

Jeannie Siegman
in honor of Marty Deggeller

Roger Smith and Judy Kay
in honor of Marty Deggeller and Susan Rosenberg

Susan Stansbury and Cédric de la Beaujardière
in honor of Dave Muffly

Sue Thiemann and Bill Faustman
in honor of Susan Rosenberg

Carl and Susan Thomsen
in honor of Marty Deggeller

Kathy and Mike Torgersen
in honor of Marty Deggeller

Lisa Van Dusen and John Kelley
in honor of Nalini Nadkarni

Mary Vincent
in honor of Susan Rosenberg

Anna Waring
in honor of Catherine Martineau

Tracy Wingrove
in honor of Kammy Lo

Elliott and Rachel Wright
in honor of Catherine Martineau

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
in honor of Marty Deggeller