Jun 18, 2015

The community organization Richmond Trees is encouraging local residents to adopt a tree —or join their neighbors in adopting a full block — as part of its mission to green the city.

The group formed in 2011 in order to educate residents about the benefits of adopting trees. The program has residents committing to watering trees once per week during dry months for the first three years.

For the first time this year, Richmond Trees is also holding an “Adopt-a-Block” program where residents can combine efforts to green their block. Under this scenario, a resident can become the contact person for their immediate neighborhood in working with Richmond Trees on facilitating planting and caring of new trees. The new program was inspired by the successful tree-planting work parties the nonprofit has been hosting in Richmond.

For residents interested in leading Adopt-a-Block efforts, Richmond Trees has even offered residents a sort-of checklist on how to get their neighbors involved and how to work with the nonprofit on facilitating planting events (see graphic below).

“We can help you talk to your neighbor and provide educational materials to help get them on the right path,” the nonprofit said.

Richmond Trees’ vision is to create a healthy urban forest covering at least 40-percent of the city. In Radio Free Richmond article in April, Liz Bittner, a volunteer with Richmond Trees and gardener at Regional Parks Botanic Garden, describes in detail the group’s plan to care for all of the city’s new trees.

There could soon be an influx of many more, as the city has applied for a $500,000 CalFire grant to plant 500 trees in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

For those wanting more information, visit richmondtrees.org or head to the group’s information table at Saturday’s Juneteenth celebration.





  1. Great initiative, I applaud the effort. I wish the program could allow residents to adopt more than one tree. Also, as a suggestion, the program could allocate some funds to provide materials, mulsh, rocks, dirt, etc., for residents free of charge. This would allow residents to get creative with their front yards.

    Johny Boy Gomez | Jun 18th, 2015
  2. Thanks for the coverage Mike! And, Johny, the number of street trees a resident can adopt is based on space. Some residents have adopted as many as four. We like your idea about offering support for planting on private property and agree it would be wonderful. We’re currently operating on a shoestring budget (with all volunteers); hopefully in time we can expand and grow to be able to support our urban forest in more ways. Here’s to a greener, happier and healthier Richmond for all!

    Lee - Richmond Trees co-founder | Jun 19th, 2015

About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.