The Arbor Day Foundation

A quick, strategic rethinking of how to engage urban forestry advocates across the United States.

The Arbor Day Foundation has been inspiring people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees for over 50 year. It is the largest nonprofit dedicated to reforestation. Since its inception, the foundation has planted or distributed nearly 500 million trees across the world.

Trees are especially important in urban areas, where they provide shade, oxygen, and a connection to nature. The Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program celebrates municipalities that have demonstrated a commitment to urban forestry through tree-friendly policies and programs.

Tree City USA provides communities a simple framework to maintain and grow their tree population. It gives cities an avenue to celebrate their work, showing residents, visitors, and the entire country that they’re committed to the mission of environmental change.

January Advisors worked with the Tree City USA program to review existing data practices, as well as suggest new goals and strategies for the program’s data operations. Through this process, we documented existing data collection practices and outlined the next steps associated with data collection, storage, and visualization.

The main components of this strategy project included:

  • Staff interviews. We learned about the gaps in their technology systems, and future goals for the program.
  • Draft recommendations. With the summary of the interviews and our evaluation of the procedures, we recommended a new outline of goals for the program. Along with the goals we provided clear steps on how to achieve these initiatives and build an everlasting program.
  • Final presentation. After reviewing draft recommendations with the Arbor Day team, we revised and refined our work into a final presentation for the executive team.

Ultimately, we delivered actionable recommendations about how The Arbor Day Foundation could grow their Tree City USA participation by enhancing their CRM and establishing standard data management practices. This would give The Arbor Day Foundation better insight into who belongs to Tree City USA, how to engage new members, and how to expend urban forestry across the United States.