Beautifying DC
Casey Trees


There are as many ways to get involved as there are roots in the ground. One volunteer I spoke with found out about Casey Trees through their tree rebate program, which offers homeowners up to $100 per tree they plant. Another volunteer I met is an active Tree Advocate, empowered by the training and opportunities Casey Trees provides (lobbying days, public meetings) to speak up for trees in her community.

Other opportunities include volunteering, watering trees, becoming a Citizen Scientist or Citizen Forester, or even gifting a tree to celebrate someone special. Casey Trees also offers free classes open to anyone in the public who wants to learn more about trees and the environmental factors that affect them. I’ve taken Trees 101 and Trees 201, as well as the Invasive Species training and Saturday morning invasive plant removal in Rock Creek Park. It was raining that day, but that didn’t slow us down one bit.

And this is perhaps the greatest strength of Casey Trees: the committed people it brings together. The atmosphere at events is upbeat and jovial. People of all ages are excited to work together, from students to retirees—even a 2-year-old tree planter whose vest hung off him like a superhero’s cape.

A former Casey Trees staff member came back to volunteer after only two weeks on her new job because she missed the other volunteers. According to Jim, a Team Leader, “Volunteering is an opportunity to feel good helping the environment and helping to beautify DC.”

Michael, a volunteer who spends his workdays in an office environment, enjoyed the opportunity to take a break from the concrete jungle and get his hands dirty for a good cause. “You can see the direct results of your work,” he said. “It gives you a feeling of satisfaction.”

Visit Casey Trees to find more ways of getting satisfaction out of giving.

Tara Campbell is a DC-based writer of crossover science fiction. She’s currently writing a book about how trees will take over the world. Hint: get on their good side—now.