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Organize

Love trees, and want to take on-the-ground action in your own neighborhood? Roll up your sleeves and become a Neighborhood Planting Captain.

How Captains and Root Nashville will work together

Neighborhood Planting Captains will be awarded 50 1”-caliper trees (trees that are 1” in diameter and usually at least six feet tall) to greenify their neighborhood. A Captain’s job is to spread the word in the neighborhood about the opportunity: through social media, flyers (custom designs provided), your neighborhood association, door-to-door canvassing, or any other creative method. Pro tip: these tasks can be completed at home, and/or while keeping a safe social distance, and masks are strongly encouraged for any in-person recruiting. Root Nashville will work with Captains on logistics and planting day support.

Applications for the current round of Neighborhood Planting Captains closed on January 17. For fall 2021 and beyond, applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Eligibility

Applicants from Root Nashville’s impact areas of North Nashville, South Nashville, and Madison will receive priority acceptance into the program for free trees (see map below), as well as residents from neighborhoods in Davidson County impacted by the recent tornado.

Even if you do not live in one of these areas, you can still apply to become a Captain and work with Root Nashville to organize a large-scale planting in your neighborhood. We may ask for your help in fundraising for the cost of trees.

Root Nashville impact areas (tornado-affected neighborhoods also eligible for free trees)

Apply

Ready to get involved? Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and a Root Nashville representative will reach out to you after you’ve submitted. Questions: hello@rootnashville.org.

Want to learn more?

Check out the Neighborhood Planting Captain Handbook with plenty of detailed information about the program, strategies for recruiting neighbors, ideas for discovering the best yard locations for planting, and more.

FAQs & other details

Champion your own neck of the woods! Captains accepted into the program will: get to know your neighbors and increase a sense of community, improve public health and environmental quality, stay safely active and engaged in the community, earn a $150 stipend for successful organizing (applicable to Captains in areas eligible for free trees), and, of course, increase your neighborhood’s tree canopy. Captains can certainly include themselves in their neighborhood’s tree recruiting, and can sign up for up to 3 trees for their own yards.

Applications for the first round of Captains will open on Tuesday, January 5. Applicants are asked to complete a short form about their neighborhood and interest in the program. Before being accepted, a Root Nashville team member will schedule a brief introductory phone call with applicants — to explain the program in more detail and answer any potential questions.

 

There are still opportunities to participate by fundraising in your neighborhood. Raise enough to cover the cost of the trees, and Root Nashville will still provide all the same support: ordering and delivering trees, and leading the planting day. Trees are $150 each, and each planting will need at least 20 trees, bringing the total to at least $3,000 for Captains to raise. Plantings are capped at 50 trees (so the Captain and neighborhood would need to raise a total of $7,500 max) for ease of transportation and delivery.

Another idea to consider: would your employer consider sponsoring your neighborhood planting? Contact us if you’d like to discuss this idea: hello@rootnashville.org.

This opportunity is specifically for private properties in neighborhoods — homeowners’ yards. That being said, we are always looking for interested planting sites! Contact us at hello@rootnashville.org to start the conversation.

Energy, excitement, and a desire to improve your neighborhood. You do not need to be a tree expert in order to get the word out about this program. We just ask for your enthusiasm, organization ability, and neighborly connections! Whenever needed, the Root Nashville team is also always here to answer any questions you might have.

Root Nashville’s impact areas were determined using key data points: rates of hospitalization due to respiratory illness, number of impaired/polluted streams, average daytime temperature, percentage of vulnerable population, and rates of current canopy coverage. This data revealed that North Nashville, South Nashville, and Madison will significantly benefit from additional trees. Learn more about our impact areas.

Nashville suffered significant damage from the recent devastating tornado, including our tree canopy. Replanting is critical to help restore the lost benefits. See the Benefits of Trees one-pager to learn more about how trees are connected to livability and quality of life.

The heart of the Root Nashville campaign is creating an equitable canopy distribution. Focusing on impact areas and neighborhoods impacted by the tornado will allow us to do that.

If you are interested in organizing a large-scale planting of big 1”-caliper trees, applying for this Root Nashville Neighborhood Planting Captain program is the way to go. However, if this program isn’t the best fit for you, partner organizations offer other replanting opportunities.

In response to the tornado, the Nashville Tree Foundation launched ReLeaf 2020, a replanting program which will include free container tree giveaways and plantings in public areas like schools and parks. Keep an eye on their website for more information. 

In addition, the Nashville Tree Conservation Corps offers a tornado program called Operation Overstory. Operation Overstory allows those affected by the storm of 2020 to submit a request to receive a large canopy tree species for free through their Farm-to-Yard tree sale program. 

Root Nashville is a long-term campaign, and there is always another planting season around the corner. We are happy to work with you when you are ready, and we understand that in some neighborhoods, immediate relief efforts are still underway.

Yes! If you work for a company or organization that might sponsor your participation as a Captain, reach out to us to discuss the possibility (hello@rootnashville.org). We’d be happy to support your request and provide any information you need to make the ask.

Feel free to reach out to hello@rootnashville.org for general questions. You can also email Root Nashville Campaign Manager Meg Morgan at meg.morgan@cumberlandrivercompact.org, or Root Nashville Program Coordinator Chandler Kucera at chandler.kucera@cumberlandrivercompact.org.

Resources

Tree Species Catalog

Learn more about the available tree types, with photos and information about size and special characteristics.

811 Info Sheet

Captains: share this information with your neighborhood tree recipients about how to use the free 811 service. 

Benefits of Trees

This one-pager can be used as an educational tool for recruiting neighbors to consider accepting free trees.