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Urban Forest Revitalization Program


- Mark your Calendar for November 13, 2021 Chico Residents -

We are planting 50 FREE TREES! Will you be recieving one?

Butte Environmental Council has partnered with the City of Chico on a three year urban forest tree planting campaign. Working with the City's Urban Forest Manager, this Cal-Fire funded project aims to increase Chico's urban forest with over 700 trees by March of 2022, and we are on track to exceed that goal!

Chico's urban forest is a unique and precious feature of town that we get to enjoy and benefit from over many generations. There are over 35,000 trees in neighborhoods and municipal areas, but there are still over 6,000 vacant tree sites in the city without a tree! 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.

Scroll down to register for your free tree(s) before spaces fill up!

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:

Our next BIG community-wide tree planting event will be on November 13, 2021, where dozens of volunteers, city staff, and BEC staff will 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!

To register to recieve a free tree, planted with great care for you by volunteers, please fill out the Google Form below. Do you own a rental property? No problem! You can register your residence after notifying our tennants. Are you a renter? No problem! We will ask you to confirm with your landlord that planting a tree on the property is ok, but you can still register now to be put on our list! After filling out the form, one of our Urban Forest Outreach Coordinators will 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 March 13, 2021, with Fall's COVID safety precautions still in place, 30 volunteers planted 30 trees in Chico's ever-growing urban forest! 

We also had five volunteers help us out with tree deliveries prior to the big tree planting day!

ChicoER wrote an article about our event! Please read it by clicking here.

BEC General Manager Caitlin Dalby, City of Chico's Urban Forest Manager Richie Bamlet, and Mayor Andrew Coolidge planted the first tree of this day. Check out the City of Chico's post by clicking here, and watch the video that they made for this event (or watch it below)!

Click this link to check out Facebook album for the event. We also have pictures of tree prep work and tree deliveries in there!

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."