The goals of TLC's Urban Forestry program are to enhance Spokane's tree canopy, restore degraded lands, and build knowledge, awareness, and an appreciation of the urban forest on the part of the community. To this end, TLC works closely with Spokane Urban Forestry. In 2011, we signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and created a new program called "Urban Branches." Urban Branches represents a collective effort to maximize our two organizations' mutual goals and objectives in enhancing Spokane's urban forest canopy.
The key feature of Urban Branches is a fund dedicated wholly to City-wide tree planting projects. This allows individuals to make tax deductible contributions-as memorials, gifts, dedications, or donations-that directly support tree planting efforts in the City of Spokane.*
The Susie Forest
One of the efforts supported by Urban Branches is The Susie Forest. Susie Stephens was a well-known bicycle and pedestrian safety advocate. She served as the Executive Director of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington in Seattle from 1994 to 1998. She was tragically killed in 2002 after being struck by a bus while walking across the street in a crosswalk in St. Louis.
Susie's optimism, accomplishments, and love of life inspired her mother, Nancy MacKerrow, to begin The Susie Forest. Founded by MacKerrow to honor Susie through three goals-by planting trees for her, by helping others to plant meaningful trees, and by continuing her activism-the Susie Forest is a living, growing legacy to Susie and her commitment to creating livable communities. Each tree planted signifies the magnitude and importance that one person's life can have on those around them, as well as on entire communities and generations.
Except for the two trees planted every year on Susie's birthday and on the anniversary of her death, every tree planted in The Susie Forest is associated with another person and/or event. Since its beginning, The Susie Forest has grown to over 200 trees throughout Spokane (Susie's hometown), the nation, and the world, including far-reaching places like New Zealand and Iran.
For more information on The Susie Forest, please visit http://thesusieforest.wordpress.com/.
The Susie Forest now grows in Afghanistan
August 15, 2012 Spokesman Review post
The Susie Forest, a Spokane-based initiative, has taken root in Afghanistan. Nancy MacKerrow is the Spokane woman whose daughter, Susie Stephens,
was killed in 2002 when she was hit by a bus in St. Louis.
read full story
10 new ponderosas adorn former YMCA site
Another main component of Urban Branches is the NeighborWoods program. A national program of the Alliance for Community Trees (ACT), NeighborWoods helps residents become better-educated about their urban forests and assists them in enhancing these forests. Neighborhood residents gather together to form "stewardship" groups, which determine community concerns, needs, and goals with respect to the urban forest, develop and implement a plan, help collect and inventory data, and take responsibility for their street trees. TLC and Spokane Urban Forestry kicked off Urban Branches and celebrated NeighborWoods month with a free, well-attended, four-part public educational workshop series in October 2011, focusing on tree planting, pruning, use of native species in the landscape, and low impact development strategies for the homeowner.
Interested in learning more about Urban Branches? Want to start a NeighborWoods group? Please contact Kat at 209-2403 or khall (at) landscouncil.org.