California Releaf

Connecting People, Trees, and Communities

Sacramento, CA   |  www.californiareleaf.org

Mission

California ReLeaf's mission is to empower grassroots efforts and build strategic partnerships that preserve, protect, and enhance California's urban and community forests. California ReLeaf works statewide to promote alliances among community-based groups, individuals, industry, and public agencies, encouraging each to contribute to the livability of our cities, public health, and the protection of our environment by planting and caring for trees.

Ruling year info

2004

Executive Director

Ms. Cindy Blain

Main address

2115 J Street, Ste. 213

Sacramento, CA 95816 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

90-0138904

NTEE code info

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Urban, Community (S31)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

California's cities and urban residents are already dealing with two of the most health threatening climate change conditions: record-breaking hot temperatures and the resulting higher levels of air pollution. With 95% of Californians living in urban areas, urban forests can have an enormous positive impact on human health and well-being by reducing temperatures through shade and evapotranspiration. Recent research also indicates how urban trees are correlated with lower levels of obesity, stress, and heart disease -- three of the most widespread and costly health conditions threatening our nation. Urban forests play a key role in urban design as an environmental co-determinant of health -- with tremendous potential to be a powerful change agent in growing greener, healthier, and stronger communities.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

California ReLeaf Network

We support a Network of nearly 100 community-based organizations with resources and information about urban forest issues, statewide programs, funding opportunities, plus organizational mentoring and capacity-building through trainings, workshops, and networking opportunities. A large component of our services to local groups is to secure and share urban forest grant opportunities — to fund tree planting and tree care projects as well as educational programs — to the Network and other grassroots community groups. This is paramount because mature trees with large canopies and root systems provide the greatest social, environmental, and economic benefits to communities.

Population(s) Served

California ReLeaf provides education and outreach services to Network organizations, public agencies, community leaders, children, and the general public. Topics include the benefits of trees, techniques for tree care and planting, current research, and relevant urban forestry issues. The education and outreach program includes an annual California urban forest conference and Network retreat, newsletter, online resources, social media posts, and regional and online workshops. We work with CAL FIRE to orchestrate California Arbor Week (March 7-14) as a statewide campaign that includes educational materials as well as a poster contest for student in grades 3 to 5. Most recently, California ReLeaf led a statewide drought messaging campaign, unifying the Network member groups and leveraging our shared voice to educate the public on how to care for trees during drought. In the coming year, California ReLeaf will increase its array of online resources—including bilingual options—for easy, accessible education and sharing. California ReLeaf’s outreach programs teach the benefits and values of trees and educate the public about sound arboricultural practices.

Population(s) Served

California ReLeaf supports local tree planting and urban greening projects in communities throughout the state by offering pass-through grant opportunities as well as serving as a guide through the grant process. The grants help grassroots groups successfully implement tree planting and tree care projects and other community enhancement or capacity-building endeavors such as volunteer training, education and outreach, and program development. California ReLeaf gives highest priority to local projects in underserved neighborhoods with the greatest need for tree canopy. To date, California ReLeaf has supported the planting and care of nearly 200,000 trees, utilizing 300,000 volunteer hours and leveraging $9 million in matching funds.

Population(s) Served

California ReLeaf has elevated urban forestry as an important public policy issue during this decade by serving as the lead advocate for it in Sacramento. California ReLeaf’s location and our staff’s legislative expertise make us uniquely qualified to serve as the collective voice of our local Network partners in reaching the decision makers of our state. California ReLeaf regularly meets with legislators and staff, state agency leaders, and statewide nonprofit partners to educate them about the powerful positive impact of trees in relation to climate action, energy conservation, improved air and water quality, public health, economic vitality, and environmental justice. Our Network organizations also rely on ReLeaf to keep them engaged and informed on statewide issues in which their voices can guide public policy efforts at the federal, state and local level.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

California ReLeaf’s primary goal is to advocate, facilitate, and fund the preservation and expansion of strategically located urban forests in all California's cities and towns. Research has clearly shown that trees are critical to the health of urban Californians - especially as climate change escalates extreme heat events.

We believe trees are absolutely essential to climate change mitigation AND adaptation. Trees do both: tree mitigate by sequestering carbon while supporting climate adaptation with more resilient neighborhoods which are cooled by the shade and evapotranspiration effects of trees.

Our mission is to empower grassroots efforts and build strategic partnerships that preserve, protect, and enhance California’s urban and community forests. We work statewide to promote alliances among community-based groups and individuals, encouraging each to contribute to the livability of our cities and the protection of our environment by planting and caring for trees.

California ReLeaf advocates for effective urban forest public policy and state funding at the state level with the support of our 90+ member Network. In addition, ReLeaf secures grant funding from foundations and corporate sponsors.

California ReLeaf connects urban and community forestry groups through our ReLeaf Network, joining their voices together to provide strong representation statewide and to share best practices and resources among the Network.

California ReLeaf empowers Network Members with resources, information, and training opportunities through our Education and Communications program. We also lead the State’s California Arbor Week activities.

California ReLeaf maintains a strong presence at the California Capitol, building coalitions with traditional and non-traditional partners, and aligning urban forestry objectives with other related initiatives in order to create safe, healthy, thriving communities across California.

California ReLeaf develops and maintains relationships with its Network groups as a forum to address concerns, meet needs, share resources, and promote the successes and strengths of California’s urban forestry community.

In addition, California ReLeaf leverages relationships with technical experts, research scientists, and practitioner partners in order to provide accurate, relevant information, resources, and opportunities to our Network.

Since 2013, California ReLeaf has played a central role in successfully advocating for over $50 million of urban forestry funding to be distributed through Cap & Trade funding to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection -- primarily to under-resourced communities with the lowest urban tree canopy.

Through coalition building and education, ReLeaf has advocated for the inclusion of urban forestry funding in related urban grants, such as the Affordable Housing / Sustainable Communities program at the Strategic Growth Council as well as the Caltrans' Active Transportation program.

ReLeaf has been a leader in providing technical assistance and incentivizing projects in low income communities of color as well as spearheading social and racial justice training for the urban forest nonprofit community. ReLeaf also promoted jobs for young people in low income areas by securing funds for the urban arborist curriculum at Merritt Community College in Oakland...and beyond.

Financials

California Releaf
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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California Releaf

Board of directors
as of 06/13/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Desiree Backman

UC Davis Health System

Term: 2018 - 2020

Desirée Backman

California Department of Health Care Services

Catherine Martineau

Canopy

Haydi Danielson

Boething Treeland Farms

Ray Tretheway

Sacramento Tree Foundation

Igor Lacan

University of California Cooperative Extension

Andy Trotter

West Coast Arborists, Inc.

Greg Muscarella

Nutanix, Inc.

Kat Superfisky

Studio-MLA

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes