The History Of STL TreeLC
The idea for STL TreeLC was originally formed in 2018 through conversations with community partners about the need to improve community tree care despite limited resources. After a promising start with events to train residents in clearance pruning and other tree care tasks, TreeLC got a jump start in 2021 thanks to guidance and funding from the University of Missouri’s Neighborhood Leadership Academy. Their $2500 mini grant for community projects provided the necessary push to solidify a path forward.
The resulting pilot program called Neighborhood Foresters was launched in 2022. Volunteers participated in hands-on learning and stewardship in Benton Park West. In just one year, the accessibility of BPW’s public spaces was greatly improved. Sidewalks are easier to navigate, green spaces appear safer and more loved. Through continued stewardship efforts, the summer mortality rate of newly planted trees is decreasing.
The pilot program was a success and Neighborhood Foresters continues to operate monthly stewardship events in Benton Park West. Starting in 2023, we are seeking community partners to bring the program to new parts of St. Louis.
We continue to be motivated by a shared vision of volunteer care for community trees and more equitable enjoyment of the benefits of urban tree cover across the region.