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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Neighborhood Tree Stewards (NTS)

  • Tree Pruning Workshop with Larry Maginnis

  • NTS Tree Walk

  • 2016 NTS graduation

  • Tree ID with Fred Nilsen

Congratulations to the Neighborhood Stewards Class of 2018 for completing the program and bringing great energy and passion to each class. NTS students will be working on achieving their minimum 40 hours volunteering in efforts to provide urban forestry stewardship for their communities. 

2019 Neighborhood Tree Stewards

Applications for the next NTS program will be available in the summer of 2019. Please check Urban Forestry's newsletter, Tree Bark, for program updates or email, daniel.gleason@portlandoregon.gov with any questions on the program. 

What is a Neighborhood Tree Steward?

The Neighborhood Tree Steward (NTS) program trains participants to care for our community trees. The program includes five classes and hands-on workshops. Stewards learn the basics of tree biology, tree identification, proper planting and maintenance, tree regulations, and how the benefits of trees are intertwined into the lives of people. Participants gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be stewards of Portland’s forest. Stewards put their new skills to use planting and pruning trees, organizing, advocating, and greening their neighborhoods. Stewards commit to volunteering 40 hours in their neighborhood after graduation.

No previous experience is needed to become a Neighborhood Tree Steward, but you do need a passion for trees, a desire to learn, and the commitment to help. If you do have some experience with trees, this course will deepen your base of knowledge and provide opportunities for leadership in your community.

Why care for our community’s trees?

Portland’s trees work hard for us year-round. They provide us with clean air and water and they buffer noise and road pollution. They shade and cool our homes and streets. Communities with more trees are healthier – they have lower asthma rates, lower stress, and babies are even born with higher birth weights! The benefits of trees go far beyond their beauty. But Portland’s trees need your help. They face pressure from increased development, a changing climate, and invasive pests. Many trees are neglected and in need of pruning. A small amount of care, such as watering and mulching, can make the difference between life and death for newly planted trees. Many of Portland’s lower income and East-side neighborhoods need more trees – these neighborhoods have less tree canopy than other neighborhoods. Planting and caring for our existing trees is a big task – but one that can be done with your help!

Who teaches this program?

Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry organizes the training and classes are taught by both staff and guest instructors. Our mission is to manage and ensure Portland's trees for current and future generations.

What do Neighborhood Tree Stewards do?

Tree Stewards become amazing resources for their communities - they organize, advocate, and link their communities with city resources. After graduation, stewards commit to volunteering 40 hours in their communities. Volunteer hours are often used to:

• Organize tree plantings
• Host pruning parties
• Lead tree walks
• Connect with neighbors to advocate for trees
• Form local tree teams to green the neighborhood
• Volunteer with many different environmental organizations

Once the course is completed, NTS graduates are asked to contribute 40 hours of tree-related volunteer service over the next year. It is very easy to fulfill this service requirement by participating in Urban Forestry workshops, serving on the Heritage Tree Committee, teaching kids about trees at Learning Landscapes events, volunteering with Friends of Trees or any one of our local community partners, tabling at Arbor Day, organizing a community tree planting, or representing your Neighborhood Tree Team at Neighborhood Association Meetings. 

For questions or further information, please contact daniel.gleason@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-4963. 

To learn more about upcoming educational opportunities with Urban Forestry, please sign up for TreeBark, Urban Forestry's monthly newsletter.


Neighborhood Tree Stewards

Neighborhood Tree Steward Homepage

Service Requirements

Neighborhood Tree Stewards (NTS) sign a commitment to spend at least 40 hours over the course of the year following their graduation volunteering and supporting the urban forest.

Funds, Supplies, and Assistance

Stewardship Support for Tree Teams and Tree Stewards