Portland, OR. Friends of Trees is an Oregon-based organization that plants trees around the Portland-metro area, Salem, and other parts of the state. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers have had to shift how they work to make sure it’s safe for everyone. Pivots include only carpooling with people in the same household and wearing masks during an entire volunteer entire.
Photo courtesy to FriendsOfTrees Instagram.
Organizers also request no more than 25 people per shift in the Portland area while in places like Eugene, a crew can include up to 50 people. Currently, Friends of Trees requires volunteers to sign up on its website and sign the waiver online instead of in person.
To best stay in touch with Friends of Trees, follow the nonprofit’s social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages at friendsoftrees.
Here’s a list of Frequently Asked Questions from Friends of Trees:
What should I bring to a planting? What about my group? Can you verify my hours? And more!
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Friends of Trees! Friends of Trees strives to make your experience safe, fun, and fulfilling. Below are common volunteer questions as well as detailed information on safety measures we are taking during this era of Covid-19. Click on the question to view the answer. Thank you for considering volunteering with Friends of Trees!
Contact Friends of Trees Volunteer & Outreach Staff
Hmm…don’t see your question? No worries–we are still here to help you! You can reach Jenny Bedell-Stiles, Pablo Brito, and Carey Aroonsuck in the Volunteer & Outreach Program at [email protected] or call our volunteer hotline: 503-595-0213. We’re here to help make your volunteer experience a good one!
Portland, OR. Despite shelter-in-place, Friends of Trees(FOT) managed to finish its planting season in neighborhoods and urban green spaces in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Staffers like Tyler Rise (pictured above) are keeping things moving, but operations are quite different than usual because the typical neighborhood volunteers arenot allowed to work.
A pod from the Northwest Youth Corp, a roving group that does summer maintenance, helped plant trees in Forest Park. The planting season lasts from November to April, so thankfully the COVID-19 pandemic did not hit until near the end of the season.
Friends of Trees relied heavily on staff and trained crew-lead volunteers to finish projects by themselves. Trained individuals are continuing typical summer operations by surveyingtrees that were planted earlier in the year. These volunteers mulch and prune the trees as needed.
Friends of Trees’ impact in 2019
The benefits of trees
Future operations will look much different than normal. Interim Executive Director Whitney Dorer predicts that more plantings with fewer people will take place in order to prevent larger groups from congregating. The attendance of past planting events has reached over 250 people. Unfortunately, the traditional post-planting potlucks will be put on hold. Friends of Trees focuses not just on the environment but also on the community.
“It will take a lot of creativity on the part of our team of our supports and volunteers to find new ways to engage community while we are still planting trees throughout the city and in natural areas,” said Dorer. “We are just going to have to work with whatever is given in terms of social distancing guidelines.”
A volunteer shows her love for nature during a winter planting session pre-COVID
Friends of Trees is remaining active on social media. Short, educational videos on different trees have been put together by various FOT staff. In the spirit of community, every Thursday, a staff member is introduced on the FOT Instagram. Introductions include name, pronouns, position, favorite tree(s), favorite potluck food, and hobbies. Corporate and Business Relations Specialist Sam Erman even included his favorite hummus recipe.
In this time of isolation, Friends of Trees recognizes the growing importance of community building while remaining safe.
From Friends of Trees: We bring people together. Inspiring our community members to plant, care for, and learn about trees is key to our mission. We welcome individuals, families, and businesses throughout western Oregon and SW Washington to help restore and beautify our region.Friends of Trees recognizes that not everyone has equal access to the benefits of trees. As we work to remedy that, we strive to be a welcoming and safe place for everyone, regardless of age, ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, political views, or economic status. Without our volunteers, we are nothing. But together, we do amazing things.
Portland, September 10th, 2015. If you couldn’t join the thousands who flocked to Pioneer Courthouse Square for The Standard’s Annual Volunteer Expo, you’re in luck. We’ve got all the information and website links to explore over 125 local nonprofits that could use your time.
A full list of links of nonprofits is at the bottom of our story.
R. Richard Crockett, (left) is the Program Operations Director & Volunteer Coordinator at Chess for Success.
Classroom Law Project is a non-profit organization of individuals, educators, lawyers, and civic leaders building strong communities by teaching students to become active citizens.
The Standard’s Volunteer Expo has repeat participants year after year, here’s a look at some nonprofits which continue to recruit volunteers:
Jenny Bedell-Stiles and Andy Meeks from Friends of Trees
talks with Casey Rhodes and Clark Hays.
Jenny Chu from Literary Arts
New Avenues For Youth volunteers are a hit every year because they dish out the free Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream!
Rachel Randles from Oregon Historical Society
The Volunteers of America recruited some new volunteers!
Special Olympics Oregon has room for coaches and event volunteers.
Newspace Center for Photography promoted its multidimensional photography resource center and community hub for students, working artists, professional photographers, educators, and photo-enthusiasts of all types.
Latino Network’s Edgar Ortega
Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro Area had a colorful display.
The Work for Art’s Community Fund and Arts Education Fund support more than 80 arts and culture organizations every year—encompassing dance, visual arts, music, literary arts, media arts, theater, cultural arts, and arts education.
IMPACT NW drew prospective volunteers who learned that each year over 60,000 low-income children, youth, families, seniors, and adults with disabilities participate in Impact NW’s comprehensive anti-poverty programs.
The YMCA was handing out information about programs.
People who stopped by The Q Center booth were met with a friendly smile.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Oregon Chapter staffers promoted their many volunteer options.
Reps from the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon explained their work on behalf of local cats and kittens.
American Red Cross volunteer recruiters had the trademark red vests!
The mission of the Make-A-Wish Oreogn Foundation® is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
Northwest Pilot Project began in 1969 as an all volunteer agency to provide basic supports for seniors at risk of losing their ability to live independently.
Miracle Theatre Group is The Northwest’s premiere Latino arts and culture organization.
Camp Fire offers opportunities for volunteers who like to work with kids.
Bridge Meadows is a multi-generation housing community serving Oregon’s vulnerable populations; foster youth, adoptive parents and elders (55+).
Here’s a list of links to charities at the The Standard’s Volunteer Expo. Please consider donating your time, and tell them PortlandSocietyPage.com sent you!
Portland, April, 25th, 2015. More than 2,000 local Comcast NBC Universal employees and their families, friends and community partnered across Oregon and SW Washington joined forces to “make change happen.” There were several projects including the region’s flagship effort at Glenfair Elementary School in NE Portland with more than 315 volunteers. Other Portland projects were held with Binky Patrol, Friends of Zenger Farm, Children’s Book Bank, Hacienda CDC, Oregon Food Bank, and Native American Youth and Family Center.
More than 315 volunteers help Glenfair Elementary on Comcast Cares Day. Projects included outdoor gardening and landscaping.
Meaghan Heupel, among more than 90 volunteers, gardens at Native American Youth and Family Center on Comcast Cares Day. (Photo by Kim Hansen.)
Comcast Cares Day volunteers Leo Harbo, Tiana Sablan, and Louanne Mendiola garden at Glenfair Elementary. Photo by Aaron Hockley.
Comcast Cares Day, which takes place each April during National Volunteer Month, is Comcast NBCUniversal’s companywide celebration of its year-round commitment to service and the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer effort in the country. This year, more than 90,000 Comcast and NBCUniversal volunteers participated in more than 750 projects across the country and around the globe. To date, volunteers have contributed more than 3.7 million service hours to improve nearly 6,000 projects in the U.S. and around the world since Comcast Cares Day started in 2001.
“Comcast Cares Day was a huge success with more than 2,000 volunteers in Oregon & SW Washington. I am grateful for everyone who made change happen in our schools and communities,” said Rodrigo Lopez, regional senior vice president for Comcast. “Not only did our employees come out, but so did volunteers from the project sites and community partner groups such as United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, Hands On Greater Portland, SOLVE, Urban League of Portland, Adelante Mujeres, Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest, Friends of Trees, and Girls Inc. of Northwest Oregon. It is heartwarming to see the significant impact we can make together in just one day, and it is inspiring to see and hear how volunteers make a difference all year long.”
The Comcast Foundation will also provide grants to local community partner organizations across the country on behalf of everyone who volunteers on Comcast Cares Day. The grants will help Comcast’s community partners continue their mission of serving the community throughout the year. To date, the Comcast Foundation has awarded more than $16 million in grants to local non-profit organizations who have partnered with us on Comcast Cares Day. Comcast has been committed to serving local communities since our founding more than 50 years ago. For more information on Comcast’s volunteer and community investment initiatives, visit www.comcast.com/community.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.
About the Comcast Foundation
The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corporation in June 1999 to provide charitable support to qualified nonprofit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact on their communities. The Foundation has three community investment priorities—promoting community service, expanding digital literacy, and building tomorrow’s leaders. Since its inception, the Comcast Foundation has donated nearly $158 million to organizations in the communities nationwide that Comcast serves. More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast.com/community.
Portland, January 16th, 2014. Local business DTI Portland threw an artful benefit to celebrate its new 20,000-foot office space in the historic Pittock Building. The venue walls served as a canvas for the colorful, Four Seasons in Portland-inspired artwork created by Sabin Elementary School 2nd through 6th graders. An estimated $5,000 from the event and individually purchased pieces will support the Sabin Art Program and Portland-based, Friends of Trees.
Concentric Circles Hanging @DTI
Eric Allen and Scott Fogerty talk about the art.
“We are proud of our new space in the Pittock Building. We’re also proud of our technology-company roots in Portland that date back to 1999,” said Donna Peterson, VP of DTI Portland. “When deciding how to decorate the walls in the new space, we wanted to reflect our appreciation of the Portland community—the landmarks, the natural abundance and our people that make this a great place to live and work. Hence, the partnership between DTI, the Sabin Art Program and Friends of Trees was born.”
Chris Lamp Donna Peterson hang “Summer.”
“We’re delighted to be a part of this project that will encourage budding young artists and also help our communities plant trees together,” said Scott Fogarty, executive director of Friends of Trees. “DTI has found a unique way to give back to the community while showcasing the need for local arts and green spaces.”
DTI Portland is also committed to the metro area’s downtown core—not simply by remaining in the Pittock Building, but also by gutting the 8th floor space, rebuilding it completely, and signing a seven-year lease—all without the use of public funds. The organization operates a 24/7 data center supporting legal teams as they manage vast collections of electronically stored information related to litigation. It designed the space to comfortably host depositions, arbitrations and videoconferences, as well as document review teams. Included in the Portland space is a full-service printing shop with scanning and coding capabilities as well as the core of the company’s software development team.
“DTI is a national organization with a local, community focus, which is why it marries so well with both Friends of Trees and the Sabin Art Program with its commitment to International Baccalaureate learning,” said Peterson.
The Sabin Art Program, while local, is unique as it furthers the International Baccalaureate (IB) focus of Sabin Elementary School. Student pieces have been hosted by art galleries around town, and are a mainstay at the NE neighborhood’s Starbucks at 15th & Fremont. IB schools focus on the development of the whole child in the classroom and in the world outside.
DTI Portland hopes more businesses in the metro area will consider partnering with local nonprofits like Friends of Trees and schools like Sabin Elementary to underscore the community spirit that makes Portland such a unique place to call home.
DTI acquired Portland-grown Bridge City Legal in 2011, and Fios, Inc. in 2012. The Portland office consists of 120 employees who specialize in serving legal teams with e-discovery processing and hosting services. DTI is the nation’s largest independent provider of e-discovery, managed document review, facilities management, and knowledge process outsourcing. DTI serves the nation’s leading law firms and Fortune 500 corporations through its 27 highly secure service centers, located in major cities across the United States. For more information, visit DTIglobal.com.
About Friends of Trees
Friends of Trees empowers people to improve the natural world around them through a simple solution: plant trees, together. They operate in Portland, Vancouver, Eugene, Salem and surrounding areas. The Neighborhood Trees program provides homeowners with discounted trees to plant at their homes with their neighbors. Through its Green Space Initiative, trained crew leaders guide volunteers at weekend events to restore green spaces. www.friendsoftrees.org
About Sabin Art Program
The Sabin Art Program has a widely respected visual arts program that has grown and flourished under the care of Chris Lamp, a longtime Sabin Elementary School teacher. Beginning in kindergarten, students are exposed to a wide variety of styles, media and approaches. They learn sophisticated vocabulary to accurately discuss and describe their work and they use high-quality materials, which helps them respect their own efforts and see themselves as real artists. Sabin’s longstanding commitment to art has meshed smoothly with the International Baccalaureate program that values the arts equally with more traditional cores subjects like math and reading. Sabin artwork is on display all over Portland. Sabin students have had showings in City Hall and there are permanent installations at the district’s central office and the new Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel.
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