Citizen Foresters preparing to plant

Citizen Forester Program

Citizen Foresters represent a group of over 1,300 dedicated Casey Trees volunteers who have taken at least one of our five free qualifying classes. Becoming a Citizen Forester is the first step in further volunteer and advocacy opportunities.

Qualifying Classes

  • Trees 101
  • Trees 201 (required for becoming a Lead Citizen Forester)
  • Stand Up For Trees (step one in becoming a Tree Advocate)
  • Pruning Workshop (step one in becoming a Citizen Pruner)
  • Tree Planting Workshop (step one in becoming a Team Leader)

These events are available seasonally and can be found on our event calendar. Advance registration is required.

Team Leader

Our Team Leaders have received additional training to lead teams of volunteers at our Community Tree Planting events. Every Team Leader is given a team of 3 to 5 volunteers and is responsible for the quality of the tree planting and the safety of the team. To become a Team Leader you must attend the Tree Planting Workshop and work with a Team Leader Mentor at a minimum of two plantings in the same season. No prior experience is necessary.

The Tree Planting Workshop is offered twice a year at the beginning of each season. Attendance is mandatory to become a Citizen Forester Team Leader.

Lead Citizen Forester

This group of highly skilled volunteers have attended Trees 101, Trees 201, Stand Up for Trees and the Tree Planting Workshop, have qualified as a Team Leader and have been selected by Casey Trees staff as demonstrating exemplary knowledge and leadership. Lead Citizen Foresters serve as liaisons between Casey Trees and the Community Tree Planting’s Project Organizer. Lead Citizen Foresters meet with the Project Organizer early in the planning stage and assist with tree selection, placement, community involvement and problem troubleshooting.

Tree Advocate

Casey Trees’ mission is “to restore, enhance and protect the tree canopy of the nation’s capital,” but we can’t do it alone.  Local policymakers want to hear directly from District residents, so successful, game-changing advocacy starts with you.

The Tree Advocate program offers you the opportunity to meet fellow tree lovers and advocates, share experiences and ideas and learn strategies to help you engage with the District’s top decision-makers.

Become a Tree Advocate

Amplify your voice by becoming a Tree Advocate!  Our program is designed to develop a network of trained volunteers ready to stand up for trees in their neighborhood and across the city.  Offering expertise and resources, Casey Trees help volunteers connect with city leaders and other residents to push for change in their communities. Our most committed advocacy volunteers will earn the distinction of becoming an official Tree Advocate.

There are four steps to becoming a Tree Advocate:

All Tree Advocates will receive special recognition for completing the program.   For more information on becoming a Tree Advocate or attending a meeting, contact us at advocacy (at)

What are Advocacy Actions?

Advocacy actions are opportunities to engage policymakers and other key leaders in your community about issues affecting trees. Many advocacy actions also provide a chance to meet and collaborate with other concerned residents. Advocacy actions include:

  • Casey Trees’ Lobby Days: Offered 3 times a year, Casey Trees’ staff and volunteers meet with key decision-makers to promote D.C.’s urban forest
  • Attending local ANC meetings, community hearings, and other District agency meetings to promote trees in development projects
  • Attending public workshops hosted by councilmembers, District agency leaders, and neighborhood organizations to fight for a vibrant urban forest
  • Submitting comments to address development projects or policies in the District

Being a Tree Advocate is not required to participate in advocacy actions.  For more tips on how to advocate for trees, visit our Advocacy Action Center.