Tree Davis breaks ground with community tree planting

PHOTO: Erin Donely Marineau, executive director for Tree Davis, helps the volunteers plant the first tree at Korematsu Elementary.

By Alexandra Zurborg, Staff–

Tree Davis held its first planting event for the Community Canopy program on Oct. 5. The Community Canopy and Tree Davis are planning to plant over 1,000 trees in the span of two years, with 650 of those trees going to more disadvantaged areas.

On Saturday, Oct. 5, volunteers met at the Veterans Memorial Center at 9 a.m to listen to the orientation and the assignments of locations where the new trees were going to be planted. A wide demographic of volunteers attended, ranging from high school students to young families. All hoped to be able to plant some trees for the community. 

Junior Eugene Chen wanted to get some volunteer hours by coming to the Tree Davis event. “Well, I need to do a few volunteer hours for National Honor Society and this is the place to do it,” Chen said. 

One of the planting sites was Korematsu Elementary. Holes were already pre-dug by the district so the first planting would be a little bit easier.

“We are planting at Korematsu because we want to give shade to the kids at lunch, and replacing some old trees that didn’t survive,” garden coordinator Marc Ishisaka-Nolfi said. 

Nolfi has been the garden coordinator at Korematsu for 11 years. He believes that the new trees will provide more opportunities for outdoor education and that it’s great that the district and the community can come together to plant these trees. 

Erin Donely Marineau, executive director for Tree Davis, was thrilled that their non-profit organization was funded by other agencies.

“We are a non-profit organization, so I am very glad that the funding for this project has been provided by Cal Fire and Prop 68,” Marineau said. 

Although only a couple of trees were planted, the district is looking for more locations to plant trees. 

“We are working closely with Tree Davis to find more spots in the community and within each of the schools to plant more trees,” said Maureen Poole, facility specialist for the district.

Tree Davis isn’t just about planting trees. Diane Crumly, who is on the board of directors for Tree Davis, believes that their main goal is to bring community members together in Davis through the plantings.

“We have been told that neighbors who have lived on the same street for many years have never really gotten to know each other, and then when they got out and planted trees together, they became friendly,” Crumly said. “It was really a community building experience.” 

If you are a resident in Davis, you can go to their website and even request to have a tree planted in your front yard. These trees are free and can lower energy bills, increase property value, protect you from heat and even provide shelter for urban wildlife. 

“We are here to teach the community of Davis and teach the people about planting trees and their benefits towards the environment,” Marineau said. 

For more information about Tree Davis or how to volunteer, go to their website at:

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