August 8, 2018

Gresham Tree Team is helping to make a healthier urban environment for residents of West Gresham
The Gresham Tree Team is a group of young people who are working to get more trees planted in three neighborhoods in Gresham: Rockwood, Wilks East, and North Gresham.
This summer you may spot something new in Rockwood: the Gresham Tree Team.

The Gresham Tree Team is a group of young people who are working to get more trees planted in three neighborhoods in Gresham: Rockwood, Wilks East, and North Gresham.

The Tree Team is a component of a project called Green Gresham, Healthy Gresham, a three-year partnership between Multnomah County Office of Sustainability, the City of Gresham, and Friends of Trees with funding from the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation. The goal of the project is to use trees to make a healthier urban environment for people living in West Gresham, and one of the ways to do this is to plant 225 trees over the course of three years.

Gresham Tree Team is helping to make a healthier urban environment for residents of West Gresham
“This is a valuable experience for the young people who are participating in this work, both building job skills and more awareness about the natural world," said Team leader Steven Alaman.
“Trees do a lot of good things for people; trees are like the swiss army knife of sustainability,” said John Wasiutynski Director for the Multnomah County Office of Sustainability. “Trees filter the air, produce oxygen, provide shade and cool the urban environment, filter water, sequester carbon, slow traffic, and reduce stress. We could all use more trees in our lives.”

The focus neighborhoods were selected after County and City of Gresham staff analyzed the density of tree cover and areas prone to high urban heat island effect. The three neighborhoods are also more diverse and lower-income compared to the region as a whole.  

The Tree Team, led by Multnomah County employee Steven Alaman and composed of six SummerWorks interns, is spending the summer inventorying existing street trees, maintaining trees, and recruiting homeowners to plant trees in front of their homes.

The Tree Team members are also getting first-hand working experience with urban forestry. “We are learning how to identify and collect data on trees, in addition to building our skills with outreach and public communication,” said Steven. “This is a valuable experience for the young people who are participating in this work, both building job skills and more awareness about the natural world.”

The Tree Team will be hitting the streets throughout August, and Friends of Trees is planning to plant trees during the Fall of 2018. If you are interested in having a tree planted in your yard, you can sign up online at the Friends of Trees website.