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How to Help Your Community Forest

Tips, Help & How-To

How to Help Your Community Forest

You CAN Make a Difference in Your Community Forest

You might be thinking you can't make much of an impact as an individual when it comes to your community forest -- the trees planted in our cities and towns -- but think again!. One person CAN make a difference, and TOGETHER we can make an even greater impact. 

Plant Trees in Your Community

It makes sense, right? In order to make a positive impact on our community forest, we have to plant trees. The Nebraska Statewide Arboretum offers several cost-share programs to help support tree planting efforts in communities large and small. 

Consider groups you are already involved with and the activities you already participate in and brainstorm with others about how you might incorporate a tree-planting project into your current initiatives.

For example:

  • Does your church have a committee dedicated to environmental issues or sustainability? Get involved and suggest a tree-planting project on the church grounds or partner with a nearby neighborhood association to collaborate on a tree-planting initiative. 
  • Does your child's school participate in Arbor Day plantings or Earth Day activities? Inquire about how you can get involved. Or, if they don't, collaborate with school administrators to create a tree-planting event to commemorate Arbor Day or Earth Day. 
  • Consider your book club, your mom's group, the organization you volunteer with, the board you serve on...maybe your group would like to plant a tree (or two or three)!

Plant Trees in Your Yard

Every tree planted counts toward strengthening the community forest, and that includes the trees you plant in your own yard. The best way to ensure that your new trees will thrive is to plant species that are native or well-adapted to Nebraska's climate, soils and environment. We have lots of free resources to help you get started with planting trees in your own yard or neighborhood. From instructional guidelines for how to properly plant a tree and how to properly water your newly planted tree, to lists of trees well-suited to eastern and western Nebraska to tips on pruning, winterizing and more, our free, downloadable resources will tell you everything you need to know. 

Get Involved

There are an infinite number of ways you can make a difference in your community forest. Here are some ideas to get you started. 

Volunteer for Your Community Tree Board
A tree board is a citizen-led group that works with municipal public officials to improve the health of the urban and community forest through tree planting, advocacy, education, management and maintenance activities. Most communities have some form of active tree board. Call your town or city office or Google "tree board in [name of town]" to see how you can get involved. And if your town doesn't have a tree board, maybe it's time you started one!

Tell Your Community Leaders that You Care about Trees
Email your city or town's mayor and your city council members to let them know that you care about the health and livelihood of your community forest. Ask them how you can get involved with the city's efforts to plant and maintain trees. Not sure what to say? Click HERE for some talking points and a brief email script. 

Volunteer for the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum
We are a small (but mighty!) organization, which means we depend on volunteers to help us get the job done. Our volunteers help with tree planting and garden making all across the state. Email us to let us know you are interested in volunteering, and we'll get in touch with you. 

Educate Yourself by Visiting an Arboretum
Did you know the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum facilitates a network of more than 100 arboretums and public gardens across the state? From Brownville to Alliance, you can visit these free spaces, enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the outdoors and learn about trees (all the trees in the arboretums are labeled so you can easily identify them).

Dig Deeper into Why Your Community Forest is So Important 
Many of the benefits trees provide go unnoticed and underappreciated. Learn more about why trees are important and what you can do to help restore this critical resource in your community by watching this video by the Nebraska Forest Service

Support Our Work
The Nebraska Statewide Arboretum is a member-supported organization, which means financial support from members and donors makes it possible for us to plant more trees, make more gardens and offer more environmental education and outreach all across the state.