Urban Tree Canopy Restoration Project

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Raking dirt after planting tree
Neighbors volunteer at events to plant street trees

Clark County's Clean Water Division was excited to start a new program in 2017 to plant street trees in our urban neighborhoods to improve water quality and our community.

We have received grant funding for three years to plant trees in rights of way in partnership with Friends of Trees and local neighborhoods.

Our pilot project has worked in specific neighborhoods in the Lake River, Salmon and Cougar Creek watersheds, including Felida, North Salmon Creek, West Hazel Dell, Sherwood and Northeast Hazel Dell neighborhoods (PDF). The project has planted hundreds of trees over three years and increased our urban tree canopy by more than a dozen acres.

How trees help stormwater
  • Reduce the amount of stormwater flowing to storm drains by intercepting water on leaves, branches and trunks. The water then evaporates into the air.
  • Help water infiltrate or soak into the ground with deep roots.
  • Soak up lots of water from the ground.
  • Transpire water back into the air.
  • Learn more > Stormwater to Street Trees

You can help 

This project has been coordinated with our regional partner organization Friends of Trees. The group has more than 30 years of experience planting trees in neighborhoods throughout Vancouver, Portland, Salem and Eugene. Friends of Trees makes it easy for neighbors to green their neighborhoods.

Here are ways that you can be involved:

  • Plant a tree - If you live in the project area, you may be eligible to plant a tree for just $35 a tree. The project team will review eligible properties to make sure that your property has appropriate conditions, such as good soils, no conflicts with utilities, enough space to plant in the right of way, and sufficient distance from intersections, signs and hydrants. Want to know where we can plant trees, refer to our guidance flier.
  • Become a neighborhood crew leader - You can sign up to lead a tree planting crew for your neighborhood. Training is free and makes you eligible to lead crews for this project, as well as other Vancouver-area plantings. Sign up here.
  • Become a neighbor coordinator - You can sign up to help Friends of Trees staff coordinate events in your neighborhood. Each planting event needs help getting the word out, coordinating with local businesses for food/beverage donations, supporting volunteers at events and more.  Learn more here.
  • Drive a pick up truck - Planting events require lots of logistics, including truck driving to pick up and drop off trees at planting sites. Learn more here.
  • Volunteer at a planting event - Neighbors help neighbors plant trees during these fun events. All ages are welcome to help, including groups.  Visit Friends of Trees' volunteer website for more information.  Planting events are listed on the group's event calendar.

Events and activities

Tree planting success! A total of 517 trees were planted at 6 tree planting events. More than 600 volunteers supported the events, as crew leaders, neighborhood coordinators, planters, truck drivers and food preparers/servers. 

  • Planting Event #1 on Apr. 8, 2017 - 85 trees planted in West Hazel Dell, North Salmon Creek and Felida neighborhoods
  • Planting Event #2 on Dec. 9, 2017 - 37 trees planted in Hazel Dell Greenway in the West Hazel Dell neighborhood
  • Planting Event #3 on Apr. 7, 2018 - 103 trees planted in West Hazel Dell, North Salmon Creek and Felida neighborhoods
  • Planting Event #4 on Dec. 8, 2018 - 94 trees planted in Sherwood and Northeast Hazel Dell neighborhoods
  • Planting Event #5 on Mar. 9, 2019 - 117 trees planted in West Hazel Dell, North Salmon Creek and Felida neighborhoods
  • Planting Event #6 on Dec. 14, 2019 - 81 trees planted in West Hazel Dell, Felida, Sherwood and Northeast Hazel Dell neighborhoods

More information

This three-year pilot project was made possible with a grant from the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board, through their management of the Clark County Clean Water Restoration Fund.

For more information on this or other projects to protect local waterways, contact Clark County's Clean Water Division at cleanwater@clark.wa.gov or 564.397.4345.

City of Vancouver plantings

Do you live in the city and want to plant trees?  Visit Friends of Trees' webpage to learn more about a variety of tree plantings, including neighborhood plantings, Witness trees (planting in honor of someone) and more.