Mission To engage our volunteers in projects that sustainably contribute to increasing urban forestry in Arizona and to educate the public on the benefits of urban forestry, including carbon capture, decreasing the heat island effect, and cleaning the air.
Increase the tree canopy in low income, low canopy areas throughout Arizona
Provide education to Arizonans on best practices for tree maintenance and the benefits of urban forestry
Provide a model for cities on how to work with private residents
City of Apache Junction
City of Phoenix
ASU Sustainable Cities Network
Alhambra Elementary School District
Current and Planned Projects
Current and Planned Projects
Phoenix Metro Urban Forestry Roundtable (Ongoing)
The Phoenix Metro Urban Forestry Roundtable consists of nonprofits, private sector entities, cities, county and state level representatives, and university stakeholder all focused on solving the underlying challenges needed to improve the tree canopy in Arizona.
Over the next five years, the goal of the Roundtable is to work collaboratively to improve tree care and planting in Metro Phoenix in ways that will measurably mitigate urban heat island, improve local air quality and prioritize environmental and social justice outcomes through municipal and private investment in trees — particularly in vulnerable neighborhoods currently lacking tree canopy.
Arizona Urban Forestry K-12 Curriculum (Winter 2021) This is the first AZ specific urban forestry curriculum. The goal is to educate youth in grades K-12 on foundations of urban forestry in Arizona, including, but not limited to: tree structure and anatomy; ecosystem impacts such as biodiversity conservation and urban wildlife; social impacts such as urban infrastructure, urban heat island, air quality, stormwater management; and an introduction to arboriculture and agriculture as potential career pathways. Once completed, it will be available to the public.
Apache Junction Median Tree Planting (November 2020) AZSA is continuing our long-term commitment with the City of Apache Junction. We will be planting another 25 native trees in the medians in downtown Apache Junction thanks to support from Edward Jones.
El Mirage Tree Planting (January 2021) In partnership with American Forests, AZSA will be planting a minimum of 35 trees in El Mirage utilizing the recently released Tree Equity Map of the Phoenix Metro by American Forests.
West Mesa River Community Heat Action (Fall 2021) In partnership with Rio Reimagined, Chispa, Arizona State University and others we are supporting the development of a community Heat Action Plan and implementing at least one demonstration or pilot project in a West Mesa river community neighborhood. This participatory process will develop awareness, agency, and social cohesion in underrepresented communities. AZSA will be responsible for planting 100 trees with the Mesa community near the end of this project.
Concord Neighborhood Tree Planting, Tempe (March 2020) In March, Concord Neighborhood planted an additional 25 desert-adapted trees with AZSA towards their 100 tree goal.
Alhambra Elementary School District Tree Planting, Phoenix (February 2020) In partnership with American Forests, Microsoft, and the GreenBiz Conference planted 25 natives trees and 25 natives shrubs at two schools in the Alhambra Elementary School.
Concord Neighborhood Tree Planting, Tempe (November 2019) On November 16, 2019 we planted 24 trees with the Concord Neighborhood on their property. This is our second planting in the North Tempe Neighborhood Association area and our third planting in support of the Tempe Urban Forestry Master Plan. This planting was funded by International Paper and we had a great group of volunteers come out from First Solar to help us out. This planting also furthered Concord’s plans to plant an additional 100 trees or more on their property. This low income neighborhood was established in the 1960s and has various trees that need to be replaced due to the species or the age of the specimen. We enjoyed working with Concord and look forward to helping them in the future.
Apache Junction Median Tree Planting, Apache Junction On October 26, 2019 in collaboration with the City of Apache Junction and the Apache Junction Community Development Corporation, we planted 26 native trees within the Apache Trail median located on the community’s main commercial corridor. This will beautify the area and encourage economic growth and walking/biking in the area. It also captures carbon, helps with the heat island effect, and helps with stormwater runoff. AZSA provided the trees for this venture with the help of General Dynamics, GreenBin, and our wonderful AZSA donors. The Apache Junction Community Development Corporation brought hundreds of native and desert-adapted plants for the median as well. This planting was part of a larger plan by the City to plant along the median from Phelps Drive to Meridian. In total, that will be 100 trees. We look forward to working with these partners again on future plantings.
North Tempe Neighborhoods Tree Planting, Tempe On November 3, 2018, we planted 25 desert-adapted trees on 13 private properties in a North Tempe neighborhood. This planting was done in partnership with the North Tempe Neighborhood Association and helps support the Tempe Urban Forestry Master Plan. This project was funded by International Paper.
New School for the Arts and Academics Tree Planting, Tempe On April 28, 2018 we planted 19 trees at the New School of the Arts and Academics in Tempe. We worked with the school, specifically teacher Jane Dowell, to provide trees in areas that could use shade around the school. Jane plans to utilize the trees in future classrooms to teach children about trees and have them help take care of the trees.
This project was part of our efforts to support the Tempe Urban Forestry Master Plan, which calls for increasing canopy cover to 25% by 2040. As the City only owns less than 3% of the land in the City, most of the planting will have to take place on private property. The trees will provide shade in much of the outdoor area the school has, including near some of the classroom buildings, which will help keep those buildings cool. By planting desert-adapted trees like eucalyptus, desert willow, and palo blanco, we have limited the amount of additional water the school will have to use to support the trees in the future. This project was completed with an urban forestry grant from International Paper.
This month’s Backyard Garden Spotlight focus is Anne Till. However, both backyard and garden are understatements—it’s more like a food forest surrounding her house! Needless to say, I didn’t need a GPS to find