Accomplishments 1996 – 2020
Branch Out Burlington! is a 100% volunteer group (no paid personnel) made up of a core of dedicated citizens who work together to organize diverse tree-related activities that further our mission. We seek to encourage involvement from the community to care for and about trees. Each year, in cooperation with personnel from the Burlington Parks, Recreation and Waterfront, we plant and tend Burlington’s trees and offer educational opportunities to increase the public’s knowledge and appreciation of trees. Over 3,000 hours of volunteer effort are logged annually carrying out our many tree tasks. Below is a brief summary of our accomplishments since the inception of our organization.
- Planted and cared for over 2,570 trees in the Burlington Community Tree Nursery, with the help of hundreds and volunteers.
- Transplanted more than 1,704 trees from the Community Nursery to the streets and parks of Burlington and Essex , saving the city thousands of dollars annually.
- Organized planting of memorial trees to honor the loss of local citizens and the victims of 9/11.
- Coordinated programs to enlist the help of students from Champlain College, University of Vermont and several local middle and high schools.
- Wrote grants to generate funds to support tree planting and educational activities.
- Organized and hosted 20 Tree Walks in various parks and neighborhoods around Burlington; producing brochures with maps for the tree walks featuring over 360 trees.
- Recruited over 230 Tree Keepers to help with the care of city street trees and organized 15 Training Seminars to educate Tree Keepers about trees and how to plant and care for them.
- Held 10 Winter lectures (Tree Talks) with expert guest speakers, including notable celebrities like Bill McGibben (www.360.org), Warren Spinner (Burlington City Arborist) and Bill Mares (local writer).
- Organized the annual Winter TREE TALK (at the 2019 VT Flower Show): “Emerald Ash Borer: What You Need To Know” presented by Nancy Knox, Elise Schadler & V.J. Comai.
- Hosted a tour of the BOB! Community Tree Nursery for participants of the UVM Forestry Camp, led by Warren Spinner and Elise Schadler.
- Hosted a tour of the BOB! Community Tree Nursery for the UVM Master Gardener Program, led by Nancy Knox, Margaret Skinner & V.J. Comai.
- Talked to students in an Environment class at Champlain College about Branch Out Burlington!
- Worked with a team of UVM students and their community liaison to support the team’s effort to create educational materials for the community about the floral and fauna of Lakeview Cemetery
- Hosted 20 Awesome Tree Contests to encourage the public to look up and appreciate Burlington’s trees, resulting in locating over 300 of our tallest, widest, and most amazing and beautiful city trees.
- Held 13 Annual Tree Sales – selling close to 3,645 trees and giving away over 400 to local non-profit organizations.
- Co-sponsored the 2014 Tree Climbing Competition put on by the New England Chapter of the International Society of Arborists held in Oakledge Park.
- Supplied the St. Michael’s College Environmental Studies Program with 200 seedlings and saplings from the BCTN for their riparian tree planting initiative and discussed future donation of trees for the campus.
- Supplied the Burlington Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Forest Restoration Program with 200 seedlings and saplings for their tree planting initiative.
- During the 2020 pandemic, we gave $2,500 to Feeding Chittenden, who saw a 30% increase in visits to their food shelf due to the pandemic; and $2,000 to Spectrum, whose youth and families also faced great challenges.
Community Street Tree Care
- Provided on-going care to Burlington’s street trees and green spaces, monitoring the health of hundreds of street trees; pruning off suckers and broken branches.
Digital Outreach Initiatives
- Expanded and promoted Branch Out Burlington! Facebook page, over 275 friends “liked” our page! Updated site regularly to announce BOB! events and shared tree related information for the public. Maintained a Twitter account for Branch Out Burlington! @BTVTrees and added an Instagram account: @branchoutburlington
- News from the Branches – We produced the first BOB! monthly newsletter in November 2020. This was initiated to enhance our links with our volunteers who we have not seen for over a year. The first edition was sent out to over 700 homes throughout Chittenden County and Vermont. Our hope is to continue to produce newsletters monthly.