We need trees more than ever. Heatwaves, flooding, and all of the increasingly catastrophic effects of climate change make it clear that every day needs to be the day for climate action. Friends of Trees has planted more than 870,000 trees and native shrubs in 120+ neighborhoods in six counties across two states. We’ve done this through engaging tens of thousands of community members, and while implementing and growing programming that aims to do this work inclusively and equitably. It is widely acknowledged that planting trees is a key part of a comprehensive climate strategy. It is our experience at Friends of Trees that planting trees with community members is also key to fighting climate change. Planting and caring for trees increases community members’ engagement with the environment and overall participation in civic life, including engaging around climate action. There is a ripple effect from volunteering to plant trees that also fights climate change, beyond the actual trees. Friends of Trees was founded in 1989 by Portland resident Richard Seidman. Inspired by a national Global ReLeaf program, Richard wanted to create an organization that both helped the environment and brought people together through the act of planting trees in Portland neighborhoods and natural areas. Today, Friends of Trees is a nationally recognized, regional leader in improving the urban tree canopy and restoring sensitive natural areas—through programs delivered by thousands of volunteers. Whether it’s growing the urban canopy through planting street and yard trees, or restoring sensitive natural areas through planting native trees and shrubs, there is no doubt that the trees planted by Friends of Trees play a vital role our region’s livability. Given rising temperatures and all that we know about the cooling and cleansing effects of trees, it’s easy to see how our work improves our natural environment and fights climate change. But what’s really something else is the people-power: the trees we plant are actually planted by thousands of volunteers every season. Friends of Trees greens our region while growing community.