107IST and Friends of Trees (3/18/2017)

15 Mar 2017 4:17 PM | Stephan Lewis (Administrator)

Like many of the things we do, our relationship with Friends of Trees grew from the interest of members who aligned closely with multiple groups and wanted to utilize our sweat equity to do some good in the community. Almost ten years ago, this relationship was established as one of us was a neighborhood coordinator for Friends of Trees and tapped the TA to help with a planting he was organizing. Over these years, we have increased the number of experienced tree planters within our ranks and have been a reliable source of volunteers for them when they need it most. In fact, many of our volunteers have more experience than some of the crew leaders often do. This allows the crews we’re on to be highly effective as a they can be broken down to more effectively cover their assigned planting area. Sure, planting trees for goals with the Timbers is fun and all, but, while volunteer need is a factor, these events are typically scheduled to align with whether the players are still in town. The strength of our relationship is our ability to answer the call when they are in need of our ability to bring it strong. Typically, this happens when they’re going into large groups of lower-income neighborhoods where volunteerism may be lower than others. These are some of the same areas where we have sought to connect our community services (OPI, GCSF, etc.) with those that need it most. One of our continued issues is getting people to know who we are and what we do. These types of events allow us to put visible boots on the ground and grow our influence.

As Friends of Trees has grown in the community, they’ve been able to develop a deep enough pool of volunteers to keep us as their ace in the hole. This weekend is one of those times where they could really use our help as they go into the neighborhoods of Arbor Lodge, Kenton, Overlook, and Portsmouth to plan 210 street trees. If you’ve seen the member distribution maps at the 107IST Annual General Meetings, you’ll know that this area is second only to that just to the west including St. Johns. Our plantings there over the last couple years have continually broken records for the number of members to actually walk to a 107IST event. This one may be the only area that can compete on this measure. As it stands, they have a handful of residents and some small groups coming out. So, come on out and give us a hand, get some dirt on ya, and make our presence known while doing some good for the community.

For more details and to sign up, go here.

Lastly, our greatest strength is the involvement of our members. If you find ways within your local community that you’re passionate about and think that the 107IST may be able to help, shoot us a message at outreach@107ist.org and we’d be happy to see what we can do to help. It may even be the next thing we take to the next level.

Let’s do this, Portland.

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