Master Gardener Spotlight: Redlands Tree Canopy Enhancement Team

Master Gardener Spotlight: Redlands Tree Canopy Enhancement Team

It’s time to shine a spotlight on the incredible work of the ‘Trees for Tomorrow’ team, a group of dedicated volunteers from the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) San Bernardino County Master Gardener program. In September 2021, they were honored for their vital contribution to the Redlands Tree Canopy Enhancement Project. Led by Project Leader Debbie LeDoux, these Master Gardeners played a crucial role in educating Redlands residents on selecting, planting, and caring for climate-ready trees.

Creating a Cooler, Greener, and Healthier Environment

Related Posts: Environmental policy advocacy volunteering

Related Posts: urban tree inventory and monitoring

The Redlands Tree Canopy Enhancement Project was made possible through a multi-partnership grant obtained by Mandy Parkes, the Manager of the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District. With the help of the ‘Trees for Tomorrow’ team, as well as California Climate Action Corps volunteers, civic leaders, the Common Vision Coalition, and other groups, nearly 100 trees were planted in yards and parks with insufficient tree canopy cover.

Why is this project so vital? Well, trees have the power to cool urban heat islands by up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the spring and summer months. This creates refreshing oases in hot inland communities, offering relief from the scorching temperatures that have been breaking records in recent years. With the ongoing threat of climate change, the project’s timing couldn’t be more perfect.

The Importance of Long-Term Care

Selecting the right trees was just the first step. The ‘Trees for Tomorrow’ team understands that proper care is essential for the long-term health and survival of these climate-ready trees. That’s why they will continue to provide advice on irrigation, pruning, fertilizing, and pest control to residents long after the trees have been planted.

It’s important to note that an average urban tree lives less than 20% of its potential lifespan, largely due to poor care. The ongoing engagement of the Master Gardeners with the residents is just as crucial as selecting the right tree species. By educating the community and ensuring the trees receive the care they need, the ‘Trees for Tomorrow’ team is making a significant impact on the sustainability and beauty of the urban landscape.

The Dedication of UCCE Master Gardeners

UCCE Master Gardeners are volunteers who generously give their time and expertise to enhance the quality of life for those residing in San Bernardino County. To become a Master Gardener, individuals must complete a rigorous 18-week training program that covers horticultural concepts, exams, and class projects. Due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the training program was conducted entirely online for the first time.

Despite the difficulties, the ‘Trees for Tomorrow’ team rose to the occasion, demonstrating their commitment to the community and the environment. They exemplify the spirit of collaboration, working together with resilience and determination. We commend each member of the team, including Zhibo (Sandy) Anderson, Consuelo (Connie) Davis, Pam O’Connell, Gail Sefl, and Husam Yousef, for their incredible efforts in creating a cooler, greener, and healthier environment for future generations.

Testimonials from the Honored Master Gardeners

We reached out to the Master Gardeners involved in the project, and their passion shines through in their testimonials:

“The Redlands tree canopy project was the best volunteer project ever. In the midst of Covid-19, horrific politics, and too many goodbyes, it was a truly joyous experience. Being part of the group that promoted healthy sustainable trees, sharing knowledge on planting, care, and maintenance was the absolute best. For me as a Master Gardener, it was so much fun. I loved the site walks and helping participants select the perfect sustainable trees. What started as a one-on-one visit often expanded to include neighbors and extended family. I got to promote our excellent Master Gardener program and share our helpline contact information. Revisiting the sites to see how the trees are doing has been a joy. I receive emails with questions and pictures of ‘Our Trees.’ This project has been, by far, the coolest ever!” – Pam O’Connell

“I see tree planting efforts as a future trend to combat climate change and increase awareness of the importance of trees and tree canopies in our neighborhoods. This project should be expanded to other cities in San Bernardino County. The continuity of this project is invaluable to witness the positive impact on the environment and the well-being of the residents for decades to come. Proper organization and involvement of stakeholders are key to its success. It’s time to give back what we have taken for so many years!” – Husam Yousef

“It was rewarding to see local homeowners excited about planting trees and grateful for the program. We are making a tangible difference in people’s lives.” – Gail Sefl

Thank You!

On behalf of the Tips Tree Planting team, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the Master Gardeners involved in the Redlands Tree Canopy Enhancement Project. Your dedication and hard work are creating a more sustainable, beautiful, and livable environment for generations to come. Together, we can make a difference!

Read the full article at Tips Tree Planting

Related Posts: urban tree canopy enhancement programs

Related Posts: Public park beautification projects