Deeply Rooted: Connecting communities and trees for 25 years

SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2022 | 11:00 AM | Eastside College Preparatory School

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

Gather with us beneath the canopy on Saturday, June 18, for an outdoor birthday bash and fundraiser as we 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.

Keynote Speaker

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


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

Safety Note: This will be a fully outdoor event, and event plans will be modified if COVID-19 conditions do not allow us to gather in person.

Learn more

About Dr. Nalini Nadkarni

Dr. Nalini Nadkarni is an award-winning ecologist known as “the Queen of the Forest Canopy.” A professor of biology at the University of Utah, Nalini researches the unique and often surprising ecosystems of tropical and temperate forest canopies. Using climbing equipment, she ascends the treetops at her field sites in Costa Rica and Washington State to study the plants, animals, and microbes of the forest canopy.

Nalini has written over 140 scientific papers and three scholarly books, and her work is featured in journals ranging from Science to Time Magazine, and in public media such as Science Friday and RadioLab. Her research is supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society.

Nalini is also a passionate communicator who engages with people in all walks of life, collaborating with preachers, policymakers, rappers, dancers, and more to raise awareness of the value of trees to people. Her programs bring conservation projects to incarcerated men, women, and youth, demonstrating that all people can contribute to saving and restoring biodiversity.

In 2018 she partnered with Mattel and National Geographic to develop a line of Scientist Barbies to inspire the next generation of women in S.T.E.M. Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the AAAS Award for Public Engagement, the William Julius Wilson Award for the Advancement of Social Justice, and the Archie Carr Medal for Conservation.

About the event experience

The Experience

Brunch beneath the canopy

Treat yourself and your guests to an outdoor birthday bash with Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, The Queen of the Forest Canopy. Hosted by Canopy and emceed by Joe Simitian, Santa Clara County supervisor and former state senator, “Deeply Rooted” will be a celebration of community, connection, and 25 years of coming together to grow local urban forests.

Eastside College Preparatory School in East Palo Alto will provide the perfect setting for this event. Dr. Nalini Nadkarni will deliver a dynamic and inspiring keynote address connecting her research on forest ecology Canopy’s work bringing life to neighborhood tree canopies. In addition to Nalini’s talk, guests will have a chance to mingle with friends old and new, explore an interactive timeline, and learn about the history of local urban forests while enjoying al fresco refreshments in the shade of community-planted trees. 

The Community

Canopy events attract passionate Bay Area residents who are engaged and influential in their networks. As a trusted local resource, Canopy works closely with civic leaders, government officials, grassroots partners, local businesses, and neighborhood residents throughout the Midpeninsula. Our volunteers, donors, staff, and board represent diverse sectors and backgrounds. What they share is a passion for bringing nature into local communities and a commitment to a vibrant urban forest grown for and cared for by all.


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 is proud and grateful to honor these champions, whose contributions continue to make a lasting impact, along with the key groups they represent.

Please join us in celebrating our honorees—and consider purchasing a ticket or making a gift in their honor!

Susan Rosenberg
Canopy founders and board alumni

Marty Deggeller
Dedicated volunteers and donors

Pat Foster
Community leaders and elected officials

Walter Passmore, CAL FIRE
Transformative institutional funders

Eric Perez
Canopy Teen Urban Foresters and alumni

Jason Shirar
Arborists and landscape practitioners

Nico Janik, RCSD
School communities

Peying Lee
Grassroots advocates and partners


Giving & Sponsorship Opportunities

Your event contribution supports local tree planting, tree care, hands-on nature education, high school internships, urban forest advocacy, and more. Thank you for your support!


Giving & Sponsorship Levels

Urban Forest Visionary

Urban Forest Visionary – $25,000+

Your gift at this visionary level provides support across Canopy’s three pillars of community action: tree planting, education, and advocacy.

TUF planting

Tree Canopy Champion – $15,000+

Support a year of Teen Urban Forester internships, equipping East Palo Alto high school students as environmental stewards and leaders.

Neighborhood Nurterer – $10,000+

Fund “popcorn plantings,” bringing new trees to 6-10 households.

Orchard Explorer – $5,000+

Fund a Great Oak Count Survey of native oaks for a full neighborhood.

All Five outdoor lesson

Grove Steward – $2,500+

Provide local students and teachers with nature-based lessons and curriculum.

Exploring trees on campus

Planting Partner – $1,000+

Fund two after-school Junior Forester sessions for students to explore trees on their school campus.

Oak Friend – $500+

Plant a tree in a challenging urban site where trees are needed the most.

Students exploring tree root ball in gloves

Maple Friend – $250+

Supply tools and materials for four outdoor classroom lessons or hands-on community workshops.