The Value of Trees in Creating Healthy Communities


Invest From the Ground Up campaign releases moving video of true stories highlighting the value of trees in creating healthy California communities


San Rafael, Calif.; November 21, 2013 — The California Urban Forests Council, along with the Western Chapter of International Society of Arboriculture and funding sponsors, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and U.S. Forest Service, announced today the release of a new education video promoting the message that growing trees make great communities.

The video is part of the Invest From the Ground Up campaign, an education program enlightening Californians on the value of trees in order to encourage home and business owners to care for their trees and in return reap even greater benefit from our trees. As part of their objectives, the program creates localized education and awareness campaigns in communities throughout California. This year, Invest From the Ground Up worked with local community groups to host successful campaigns in East Hollywood, Santee (San Diego), Albany and Bakersfield. The next community planned is El Cerrito in the Bay Area.

Trees have a profound, yet often under-appreciated impact on communities. For example, community trees in San Jose, CA provide annual benefits from ecosystem services and property value of $240 million. This doesn’t even take into account the positive effect of trees on improving health, business sales, reducing crime and much more. See for more benefits of trees. The new 5 minute video features three real life stories by Californians of how trees have helped individuals or communities. It showcases heartfelt examples where trees have improved a businesses’ bottom line, improved health and wellness, and revitalized a neighborhood.

Jay Jimenez, one of the stars of the video is a small business owner in Bishop, California and the caretaker of an amazing 120 year old sycamore tree that provides shade and protection for his customers. Jay notes “[the tree] is the heart of the business and the reason I AM in business.”

Invest From the Ground Up is providing this video and a host of other educational and awareness materials to community groups, urban forestry professionals and the general public at no charge. Nancy Hughes, Executive Director of California Urban Forests Councils said, “This video is a great tool for anyone to use to start a conversation about trees in their community. Just ask, ‘can you imagine a great neighborhood without trees?’ Nine times out of ten, this will provide an opening. Our new video is a thought provoking, but easy way to address urban greening issues and opportunities in communities. We hope this fun and inspiring video will get people to recognize the value of their trees and afford them the care they need.”

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Sonali Shah, California Urban Forests Council, 415-479-8733,
Mary Pendleton, Western Chapter International Society of Arboriculture, 415-571-8616,