Become a Neighborhood Tree Steward
Are you interested in being an advocate for trees in your neighborhood? Portland's Urban Forest needs neighbors who care for the trees of our community.
The 2021 NTS application is now closed.
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The NTS course runs for three weeks with virtual classroom sessions, independent learning tasks, and an in-person field training. Read the 2021 NTS Program Overview.
What is a Neighborhood Tree Steward?
Neighborhood Tree Stewards (NTS) gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be stewards of Portland’s urban forest. Stewards put their new skills to use by planting trees, organizing, advocating, and greening their neighborhoods. Stewards commit to volunteering 40 hours in their neighborhood after graduation.
No previous experience is needed to become a Neighborhood Tree Steward, but you do need a passion for trees, a desire to learn, and the commitment to help. If you do have some experience with trees, this course will deepen your base of knowledge and provide opportunities for leadership in your community.
Why Care for Our Community’s Trees?
Portland is home to diverse communities of trees and people alike. Both types of communities change as you travel across the city and require different care to support and thrive.
There is an observable difference in the distribution of tree canopy coverage, and Neighborhood Tree Stewards are working to change that. The services that healthy trees provide to our city are integral to the health of the people in our city, and Portland is working with the community to bring these services to all residents.
Learning to listen to trees and listen to neighbors are equally important in this effort, and the NTS course is designed to provide the tools to accomplish this.
What do Neighborhood Tree Stewards do?
Tree Stewards become amazing resources for their communities - they organize, advocate, and link their communities with city resources.
Graduates of the program are asked to contribute to their community through tree-related volunteer service. Volunteer efforts focus on community tree needs and support the skills and interest of our stewards.
Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry's mission is to manage and ensure Portland's urban forest infrastructure for current and future generations. Portland’s urban forest consists of 236,000 street trees, 1.2 million park trees, and innumerable private property trees. Urban Forestry is involved in managing or regulating all of these trees to differing degrees. Urban Forestry staff issue permits for planting, pruning, removal of all public and some private trees, and are on call 24/7 to respond to tree emergencies.
For more information on Urban Forestry at portland.gov/trees.