Trees for Cities is the only charity working on an international scale to create greener cities. We strengthen communities through volunteering opportunities and inspire children to grow and eat good food.
We started over 20 years ago, with a mission to plant trees in some of the greyish parts of London, ensuring that it remains liveable for our growing urban population. To date we have planted over 600,000 trees and now reach 25 cities in the UK and overseas.
We focus on planting trees where the social and environmental impact on local people is greatest: in London this might mean planting trees to clean the air and making our communities healthier places to live, whilst in Addis Ababa it’s planting fruit trees for food and sustainable livelihoods.
Trees engage people with the natural environment and can be the “adhesive” that brings and holds communities together. Through tree planting, people of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs come together to improve their environment – whether they’re volunteers, trainees or school children.
For volunteers it can be a hugely rewarding experience; for our trainees it can be a route to employment; and for inner-city children, this can often be their first contact with nature and wildlife.
Since 1993, Trees for Cities has engaged over 70,000 people to transform their local parks, streets, estates and schools by planting trees in cities across the UK and overseas -revitalising these areas and improving the lives of the people who live in them.
“I always say it was a pub conversation that got out of hand. The co-founders – Jake, Jane, Bin and I – were depressed by the lack of green in grey areas. We were all partygoers so fundraising for tree planting by partying seemed logical – and it worked. I’m incredibly proud.”
– Julian Blake, co-founder
Trees for Cities started life in 1993 as Trees for London, when a group of young Londoners recognised the need for more trees in the capital. Our first projects included planting street trees on Westminster Bridge Road and a large-scale community project with structural landscaping and tree planting on Bemerton Park Estate in Islington.
In 2003, we changed our name to Trees for Cities and began delivering projects outside London, working in partnership with organisations and groups across the UK and internationally.