Each year, the City’s Urban Forestry Program works with a variety of public and private schools throughout the City of Vancouver to provide and plant trees. School Tree Planting projects help connect students to the benefits of trees and foster environmental stewardship. These projects also support our larger community effort to help grow Vancouver’s tree canopy.
Here’s a quick look at how the City’s School Trees Program works: Project applications are accepted, reviewed and approved throughout the year, however, planting is normally scheduled between October and April so this may be a factor to consider along with the school calendar in making application. Urban Forestry provides the needed tools and trees, as well as technical assistance for each approved project, leading up to and on the day of the planting. Students serve as the primary planters, giving them a sense of ownership and increasing their knowledge of trees. Schools that participate in the program must commit to watering their new trees for a minimum of two years following planting.
Urban Forestry is interested in working with principals, teachers or staff at K-12 schools in Vancouver interested in adding approximately five or more trees to school property.
Please note: We recognize that not all schools may be participating in the program at any given time. Some districts may have pre-identified areas or schools where planting projects can be allowed. In addition, proposed project organizers must agree to help plant trees and commit to a two-year maintenance plan following the tree planting. To provide a successful partnership in planting and growing healthy trees, each proposed project must meet with the approval of your school principal and/or facilities department.
To qualify for the free trees and assistance, approved School Tree projects are asked to help grow our City’s tree canopy by meeting a requirement of at least 60 percent shade and native trees and no more than 40 percent ornamental or understory trees. This requirement may be waived for special projects.
Once approved, successful project organizers – which may include teachers, principals, and/or student groups – will meet with Urban Forestry staff for a project planning orientation several months in advance. They will work with Urban Forestry staff to select tree species and planting locations on the school campus and to develop a maintenance schedule. Leading up to the event, various tree activities are available to engage students, including learning about the species of trees they will be planting, learning how to properly handle and plant trees, and understanding the value of trees.
For more information or to apply, please call Urban Forestry at 360-487-8308 or email Urban Forestry.