Our Story

Our Story

We are a Washington DC-based nonprofit, established in 2001 by Betty Brown Casey, committed to restoring, enhancing, and protecting the tree canopy of the nation’s capital. To fulfill this mission, we plant trees, engage thousands of volunteers of all ages in tree planting and care, provide year-round continuing education courses, monitor the city’s tree canopy, develop interactive online tree tools and work with elected officials, developers, and community groups to protect and care for existing trees and to encourage the addition of new ones.

The story of Washington DC’s trees extends back to our first President, George Washington, a tree-lover and accomplished horticulturalist who chose the city’s location and the man who originally designed it — Pierre L’Enfant. Planned to support a lush tree canopy with ample green spaces and tree-lined boulevards, DC still boasts more green space per capita than most major cities in the United States. Some consider DC the birthplace of arboriculture due to the tens of thousands of trees planted here in the 1800s, which earned DC its nickname, the “City of Trees.”

Estimated to support approximately 50 percent tree canopy in 1950, DC’s canopy in 2001 declined to just over 35 percent. A Washington Post article chronicling this decline encouraged Betty Brown Casey, a longtime area resident, to establish Casey Trees in 2002 with its mission: “To restore, enhance, and protect the tree canopy of the nation’s capital.”

Since then, Casey Trees has set a goal of attaining 40 percent canopy by 2032; planted over 30,000 trees; educated thousands of residents about the importance of urban tree canopy; supported the tree planting efforts of the DC Government, the National Parks Service, community groups and residents alike; inventoried and tracked the District’s tree resources to promote continued public funding for DC’s trees; advocated for green, tree-friendly development and similar pursuits.

 

Volunteer with Us

If you’re passionate about trees, we have a variety of programs across tree planting, tree care, inventories, adult and youth education, and conservation.

Click here to explore volunteer opportunities.

 

Join our Team

Casey Trees is always looking for talented individuals that are energized by our mission. If you want to go beyond volunteering and think you might be a good fit for our team, we encourage you to apply – whether you’re interested in administration, policy, education, operations, or farming, there is a role for you.

Casey Trees offers excellent compensation, including benefits and salaries that are benchmarked against industry standards, as well as a supportive, mission-driven work environment. We like to grow from within – if you’re interested in a career in nonprofits, we look to advance team members to help them reach their goals – and to help us reach ours!

Click here to learn more about working at Casey Trees.