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Urban Forest Revitalization Program

Click to: Receive a free tree | Volunteer | Donate to our tree fund

We're planting trees throughout town with the City of Chico!

Butte Environmental Council is partnering with the City of Chico's Urban Forest Manager in a three year urban forest tree planting campaign! This Cal-Fire funded project aims to increase the number of Chico street trees by 700 in the next three years (by March 2022) and anticipates planting more trees past the 700 mark.

The importance of our urban forest is great. Chico's urban forest is one of the most unique and precious feature of town that we get to enjoy, benefit from, and take care of. There are over 35,000 trees in neighborhoods and municipal areas of the city. The benefits they provide include: reduction of overall CO2 emissions, conservation of water, lessen soil erosion, shade and mitigation of energy costs, and increase in wildlife and plant diversity.

BEC protects our Urban Forest Health

How much do you know about the benefits of Chico's Urban Forest? Our urban forest is exactly what it sounds like: a forest of trees thriving in an urban setting. The graphic on the right features a picture from Chico's Esplanade, known for its abundance and variety of picturesque trees. Not only are these trees aesthetically pleasing, they also bring in many benefits to us and our local environment. Imagine what the rest of Chico would look like (and how much cooler the city would literally be) if all of our streets and neighborhoods had more trees!
Our partnership with the City of Chico's Urban Forest Revitalization Project hopes to do just that—to plant more trees and increase the urban forest canopy so all may enjoy the benefits of these trees equally. The bottom line is that planting trees prepares us for the effects of climate change and addresses an issue of environmental injustice in our community in terms of who would be most affected by the lack of trees in their area.
In the coming months, we will need your help to plant hundreds of trees in targeted areas! View our article about this partnership here:

How to become involved:

We will be hosting community events each Spring and Fall to plant a variety of trees in the private corridors of our urban forest. There are three ways you can help:

1) Register to receive a tree for your front yard. To register for a tree, we must first check to see if your address is in an eligible area. Please click the map below to see if your address is in an eligible part of town!

If you have determined that your address is eligible, or if you are still not sure after checking the map, then please fill out the Google Form below to the best of your knowledge. After filling out the form, one of the Urban Forest Outreach Coordinators will confirm your eligibility and reach out to you via email or phonecall to continue discussing the process about receiving a free tree. 

If you have any questions about the tree planting event and the tree planting process, please click through our FAQ!

2) Be a local hero for our urban forest and volunteer at an upcoming event to help us achieve our goal. Fill out the Google form below and join our list of tree volunteers. You will be contacted with information about ways to help in the near future.

3) Make a donation to our tree fund. This fund helps us purchase the trees that we plant for our seasonal tree planting events and helps support tree maintenance. 

Thank you for supporting our urban forest revitalization efforts!

On December 12, 2020, 30 volunteers came together in groups of family and friends to plant 30 trees in the yards of many lucky Chico residents! 

Volunteers worked together family and friends in their immediate contact bubble to reduce the risk of COVID-19. This ensures a much safer way for volunteers to enjoy time outside and plant trees for the benefit of Chico's new tree owners and Chico's urban forest.

Anna and her friend digging the hole for the tree to be planted

Click here to check out the photo album we have on Facebook! We have pictures from core volunteer training and from the day of the tree planting. 

On May 2nd & 3rd, 2020, in the spirit of Earth Day, with the help of community volunteers, and despite COVID-19 curtailing our initially-planned tree planting event, we delivered 118 trees to Chico residents!

Check out our Facebook post and pictures of this tree delivery event by clicking here.

The Importance of a Healthy Urban Forest

“Chico’s Urban Forest is made up of trees, landscapes and other vegetation within the City’s parks, along the streets and creeks, and within private property. The urban forest provides an essential character to the City that includes aesthetic values, functional benefits and ecosystem services to its citizens both individually and as a whole. The elements of the urban forest exist throughout the community, although their care is under several jurisdictions, including both private and governmental entities.”
The burning of fossil fuels for energy and large scale forest fires such as in the tropics are major contributors o the buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Managing and protecting forests and planting new trees reduces CO2 levels by storing carbon in their roots and trunk and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.The loss of trees in our urban areas not only intensifies the urban "heat-island" effect from loss of shade and evaporation, but we lose a principal absorber of carbon dioxide and trapper of other air pollutants as well.
"The City of Chico is renowned for its trees. They create a sense of place and character for Chico’s residents and visitors. The Avenues Neighborhood is home to a great diversity of prominent and historic trees, including one of the greatest tree promenades in the world – The Esplanade. Rich, deep soils and resident’s pride in their neighborhood landscape have led to a large population of healthy, vigorous trees, many of which are City ‘street’ trees. Many of the trees selected for this tour represent common tree species in Chico. Some species on this tour are no longer approved for planting as street trees, though their presence holds historic value."