There is a cautionary tale you hear all too often in environmental planning. An organization visits a neighborhood, identifies an opportunity to build public green space, plants rows of trees, but a year later, many of the saplings die and the residents are left with nothing but sticks.
Whenever this happens, not only are time and resources wasted, but the community members often become stubbornly against any future tree plantings—and understandable so.
Engaging a community before and after trees are planted is a difficult task, but an urban forestry collaborative working in the Carver neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia offers a solution. Here, community members weren’t just the recipients of new trees, but partners providing input and buy-in every step of the way.
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