CIRCLE: California Initiative to Reduce Carbon and Limit Emissions

Invest from the Ground Up is partnering is West Coast Arborists and the Western Chapter International Society of Arboriculture in our newest endeavor, CIRCLE!

The primary purpose of CIRCLE is to improve and enrich the urban forests in disadvantaged communities statewide by planting an abundance of site specific and drought tolerant/shade trees of various species, all while developing a network of communities that have a desire to improve air quality and urban forestry in California. This project aims to educate these communities on the importance of reducing GHG emissions as well as how an improved management of a city’s urban forest can help prevent these emissions. Through determined planting initiatives, CIRCLE will unite regional community-based organizations to support and carry on its cause to other communities that may lie outside the CalEnviroScreen 2.0’s qualifying communities. By simply planting trees, CIRCLE will reduce GHG emissions and VOCs by potentially providing shade to homes for the next 40 years, will filter air, and limit storm water runoff.

Through the endeavor of planting trees, CIRCLE will utilize the platform to provide education into managing an urban forest and tree inventory while presenting the community with direct evidence on the importance of green infrastructure. A byproduct of this project will also be to create and advertise jobs for those who reside in the DACs. WCA will provide those in need with job opportunities and education to advance within the industry. This project aligns with the desires of the Green Innovations Grant because its goal is not just to plant trees, but rather to educate and begin a network of communities who all aspire to live in greener, cleaner state. Trees are the cornerstone to making this happen, but its the potential education and future networks that make this planting project innovative.

Invest From the Ground Up and CivicSpark Partner for CalFire Urban Forestry Program!

California Urban Forests Council (CaUFC ) is partnering with the Local Government Commission (LGC) to leverage their respective networks to provide strategic, statewide, general and technical support for the rollout of the 2015 CalFire Urban Forestry Program, focusing on local government agencies and disadvantaged communities in 8 counties of the San Joaquin Valley.

CalFire will offer grants aimed to promote the expansion and better management of urban forestry to help improve the quality of our urban environments and the quality of life our urban residents.

Recently, LGC launched their CivicSpark program, a partnership with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research – a Governor’s initiative AmeriCorps program. CivicSpark is designed to assist local governments overcoming obstacles in response to climate change and provide capacity-building support to local governments through research, planning and project implementation.

With the support of the CivicSpark team, CaUFC and the LGC will host workshops, both in-person and online, to discuss benefits of urban and community trees, funding opportunities, eligible projects and best management practices. As an outgrowth from the workshops, interested local agencies will be provided with technical assistance to help them be more competitive with these grant opportunities.

The workshop schedule includes one in-person workshop on August 6th in Modesto, CA, where Dr. Geoffrey Donovan of the USDA Forest Service, Guy Anderson of CalFire, and several other exciting guests will speak about the benefits of urban and community forestry, managing and developing projects in time of drought, funding strategies and technical support, and case studies of urban forestry success in the region.

In addition, four online workshops will take place. The dates and subjects for these are listed below:

  1. August 4th – Urban forest management in times of drought
  2. August 18th – Writing CALFIRE grants and using CalEnviroScreen technology to determine eligibility
  3. August 25th – Key elements to developing an urban forest management plan
  4. September 1st – Assessing your Urban Forest Resources with I-Tree

International Society of Arboriculture CEUs are being pursued for all workshops. For more details, or if you would like to be involved in this exciting program, please contact us by email at projectmanager@caufc.org.

More updates coming soon!