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 Tempe
City of Apache Junction
City of Phoenix
South Mountain Environmental Education Center
Current and Planned Projects
Current and Planned Projects
Urban Forestry Roundtable Working in partnership with American Forests and the City of Phoenix, the Urban Forestry Roundtable’s goal is to collaborate in order to bring about a systems change in the urban forestry sector. This will be accomplished by identifying and addressing the underlying conditions that prohibit cities in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area from establishing and meetings tree canopy goals.
Urban forestry has been identified as a priority for Phoenix because:
It is an environmental justice issue: It disproportionately impacts the poor
It is a health issue: Phoenix residents experience high levels of asthma, heat stroke, etc.
It is a climate change issue: As temperatures increase in Phoenix, the urban heat island is exacerbated
ALPHA Nursery We are creating a self-sustaining nursery that will create a micro-forest environment in an urban setting. The nursery will support a program for students, starting in about second grade, to regularly come to this outdoor classroom for education on trees and their ecology. This program will teach students the importance of trees and how to care for them, while supporting their mental health by providing regular retreats into a forest environment, which studies show provides numerous benefits.
We have a busy spring 2020 planting season ahead of us! Here is what we have planned so far.
Creighton School/GreenBiz Conference (February 2020) In partnership with American Forests and the GreenBiz Conference, we will be doing another native tree planting, this time with Creighton Elementary School. We are aiming for 30-40 trees and some other native plants. We are investigating options for incorporating edible desert plants into the gardening culture this Title I school is already creating.
North Mountain (February 2020) In late February, we plan to do a native planting at the Penny Howe Trail at North Mountain. This planting will continue work we have already begun in partnership with the City of Phoenix to restore this ADA educational trail. This event will be a fundraiser for us, so make sure to watch our social media for details about all the ways you can help!
Concord (March 2020) In March, Concord Neighborhood will be planting another 25 desert-adapted trees toward their 100 tree goal. We plan to help them with a volunteer day. Last time, the soil was great and the digging was easy. Watch for our event so you can come out and help!
Apache Junction (October 2020) We plan to go back and help the City of Apache Junction plant another 25 native trees this fall. Stay tuned for further details!
Concord Tree Planting 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 Tree Planting 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 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 Tree Planting 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.
by Kelsey McKeighan Our next park clean up will be held at Indian Bend Wash in Tempe on February 16th at 8-11AM. Volunteers should wear closed toe shoes, long pants, sunglasses/hat, sunscreen, and bring a
by Lindsey Marie Corsack Contact: Lindsey.Corsack@AZSustainabilityAlliance.com The RE priority has been making big steps! We have successfully rolled out our Renewable Energy Recreation program. Our first city we are working with is Phoenix. Our plan
By: Tearsa Saffell Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org AZSA has partnered with Glendale High School to work with their Science Club to pilot our Food Tech For The Future food computer program. Our amazing Tech Team
By: Tearsa Saffell Email:email@example.com Things sure are cookin' in our food systems priority! We found out this week that we won The Woodside Community grant from ASU to support our Sow It Forward: Vertical Garden
By: Tearsa Saffell Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org We completed our second successful Help-A-Farm project on Sunday, October 21 at the St. Vincent de Paul Urban Farm in Phoenix. We learned all about the farm, and how they
Leadership Update October 19, 2018 by Aubrey Coffey-Urban, Acting Executive Director I had the opportunity this weekend to visit Colorado College in Colorado Springs for my college reunion. I had a great time, and yes,
Leadership Update October 11, 2018 by Aubrey Coffey-Urban, Acting Executive Director Live From The Field! On Thursday, October 18 from 3-6pm, AZSA will be tabling at Devils on Mill! Our participation in this event is