Image from UberConference.

Tech Companies Help with Greening San Francisco:

The urban forest in San Francisco, California is receiving help from the tech community.

According to an article by The Examiner, the tech company UberConference volunteered with Friends of the Urban Forest in April to plant trees in the Mission.

They planted trees along TreatSteet as part of a community wide Mission planting. Over 80 volunteers from around San Francisco joined the project to plant 72 trees in the Mission.

The project created the #TechPlantsSF campaign aimed at raising $15,000 from tech companies and workers in the industry. The money will be used to plant around 120 trees and “convert 1,500 square feet of concrete sidewalk into natural ground”.

The report said that so far, tech companies UberConference, Google, Twitter, Dropbox, YouTube and Yammer raised $2,351 last week.

Friends of the Urban Forest helps neighbourhoods in the city to plant and care for street trees and sidewalk gardens. Since 1981, the group has planted over 48,000 trees, around 43 percent of the city’s street tree canopy.

Friends of the Urban Forest executive director Dan Flanagan told The Examiner that one of the reasons they launched the campaign was to educate the tech community on the status of the urban forest in the city and to see if they can help increase urban tree canopy.

“We’re allowing them to put down roots in San Francisco,” Flanagan told The Examiner.

He said that even with the city’s green reputation, in terms of green canopy coverage San Francisco is still far behind. Flanagan said San Francisco’s urban forestry has gone down in the last couple of years despite the city’s efforts. The city only has 13.7 percent tree canopy, giving it a 17th rank among the 20 most populated cities in America.

Fundraising for the campaign will continue until the end of September with the tree planting starting on the 5th of September on the streets of Castro, Noe Valley and Outer Sunset, as well as the sidewalk gardens in the Bayview.

Currently, the city has almost 700,000 trees, with 105,000 lining its streets. But Flanagan said there is still room for 100,000 trees on areas that are currently empty.

“We’re not planning new trees fast enough to keep up with tree mortality. The city’s urban forest budget is pathetic and the FUF just doesn’t have the resource to do it all alone. Once San Francisco achieves a 25 percent tree canopy coverage, we’ll be a truly green city in every way,” he said on their blog.

The Examiner said the annual mortality rate of trees is 4,000 while only 2,700 are planted each year. The city government has also released 21,000 trees to homeowners because of lack of resources to take care of them.

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