Treekeepers is partnering with other organizations including Depave, Friends of Trees and the Urban Conservation Program of the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District to obtain grants for a Cool Schools pilot program here in Washington County. Our role in this project is to help identify potential school sites in Washington County that are most in need of trees.
Adequate tree cover is an equity issue.
Low income neighborhoods and disenfranchised communities often lack tree cover, a legacy from discriminatory government policy and bank red-lining. Making sure these areas get trees will help overcome social and environmental injustices through urban regreening.
Bringing green canopy to schoolyards.
One organization we are working with is Depave, which has been bringing cooling shade to public areas in the Portland Metro area for twenty years. Once we have identified the best sites in need of tree canopy, we need to get buy-in from the local community, school principal, maintenance workers and others to get them excited about the project. Depave can take it from there to get all the required permits, hire landscape designers, organize volunteers for implementing schoolyard depaving (if required), tree planting and follow-up maintenance.
A way for you to help
By far, the hardest and most time-consuming work is the upfront work to find school sites and work with local partners to conduct meetings to work out the issues and obstacles. If you are interested in helping out with this Cool Schools pilot project in any capacity, we need you! Without enough volunteers to support us with this work, we will lose the opportunity for the grants that are available to create green schoolyards. Please call Josie at or email her if you have questions or might be interested in helping us out. Thank you!