Blog Post By Jona Elwell

Will Washington’s future be gray or green?

Data is great. We love data! From numbers you can get a better picture of the strengths and weaknesses of all your hard work and even clues on where you should go next. Our love of numbers, and photos, is one of the reasons why we typically post seasonal recaps after each volunteer season. This year, however, is different. 

We’ve come to terms with the rapidly growing threat of impervious surfaces and the relentless pace of construction and development – shrinking plantable space in D.C. and removing mature trees and established green space. We’ve also seen something hopeful in as we plant and work with tireless, devoted volunteers. While trees can provide many benefits –  mitigating the effects of climate change, adding vibrancy to spaces – but ultimately they cannot create a community itself. A community is strengthened when people come together to take care of a space.

We don’t plant trees, protect Heritage trees, advocate for green spaces in new developments or create conservation easements for our stats. We don’t carry out our mission to restore, enhance and protect the tree canopy of the nation’s capital for the sake of data. All of our work is for future generations of Washingtonians to enjoy and benefit from. This is why engaging everyone and anyone is critical – we can’t do this work alone and it takes a village to ensure a green, resilient, equitable future for all 8 Wards and all 713,244 and growing residents. Your hard work, dedication, and support makes our work possible. We cannot re-tree without you! Donate to support our work, and your communities, today.

  • Together, we’re proud to have continued to build a green oasis in Northeast D.C. at Gallaudet University. 
  • Worked with neighbors and friends and beautified our beloved Brookland inventorying trees at Turkey Thicket.
  • Protected five distinct District greenspaces through our conservation easements program. These spaces will be green for all Washingtonians, forever.
  • Mobilized folks far and wide to prevent a loophole in legislation allowing developers to skirt fines for removing precious, priceless 50-60 year old trees.
  • Partnered with our frequent collaborators DOEE and DPR to show off the stormwater retention features of Anacostia Neighborhood Library and show residents how we all play a part in mitigating climate change. 
  • Held one of our largest Community Tree Planting events *ever* celebrating Arbor Day and the vibrancy trees can contribute to cities.
  • And because we are so proud of volunteers and crew – we have to boast that we had our largest year to date. Planting over 4,000 trees in all 8 Wards this year and over 2,400 this season!

“If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.” Our volunteers are the heart of soul of our programs. Thanks to you we’re able to plant in places that need it most, for people that will enjoy and reap the benefits of planted trees now and for years to come. People are why we do what we do – we’re working towards a green future for D.C. Donate today to ensure Washington’s future is green and lush, and not gray.

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