Tree Resilient San Leandro

Host: City of San Leandro
Openings: 1
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation (e.g. sea level rise planning environmental justice climate migration planning), Ecosystem / Habitat Conservation / Biodiversity Protection, Urban Forestry
Skills Needed: Community Engagement, Project Management, Tree Planting / Care, Volunteer Management,

Remote or On-Site Placement

Hybrid


Service Needs & Plans

The City of San Leandro is a municipal public agency serving the community of San Leandro, which comprises 15 square miles between Hayward, Oakland, and the San Francisco Bay. Despite a population of over 90,000, San Leandro is known for its small town atmosphere and diverse neighborhoods with over 32% Asian, 27% Latinx, and 12% Black representation across the City. Like many other Bay Area cities, San Leandro faces immediate climate impacts from annual wildfire smoke and extreme heat days, as well as long-term impacts from sea level rise, yet is limited by a small staff and resources to address the issues.

As San Leandro continues its implementation of the Climate Action Plan, building internal capacity and buy-in on the climate projects is essential. The CivicSpark fellowship will focus on organizing the residential tree planting program by coordinating with property owners, managing volunteers, and presenting educational sessions to community partners. The fellow will work with the Sustainability Manager and Public Works Services Manager on developing an implementation workplan for the Tree Master Plan. This tree program work supports goals around addressing heat vulnerability, air quality improvement, climate equity, and tree canopy gaps. There will be opportunity to support the ongoing work of the Resilience Hubs Initiative in network building, facilitation, and strategy development.

Project Description

The CivicSpark Fellow will be primarily supporting the implementation of the Tree Master Plan. The City’s new Recreation and Parks Department officially organized its tree activity under the Urban Forestry Division. The Fellow will report directly to the Public Works Services Manager in Rec and Parks, with support from the Sustainability Manager in Public Works. The primary task is to lead the next phase of the residential tree planting program. This residential tree planting program will pick up where the CalFire tree grant ended with planting more street trees with volunteers in frontline neighborhoods facing heat vulnerability, air quality issues, and climate inequity. The fellow will coordinate with homeowners and volunteer groups, lead educational presentations for neighborhood cohorts and community partners, walk homeowners thru tree species selection, and manage the volunteer tree plantings. Outreach to community partners will be needed to recruit volunteers for these tree plantings. Weekend work may be expected for the tree plantings with volunteer availability.

The fellow will support the tree replacement and maintenance tracking for the CalFire tree grant. This involves coordinating with the field crews from community partner Student Conservation Association and City staff to ensure the correct locations are addressed (tree watering, mulching, replanting) and data is tracked. CalFire staff will conduct their annual inspection over the summer and the fellow will support in sending follow up data to them on the tree replacement.

The fellow will lead the development of an implementation workplan for the Tree Master Plan. As the Urban Forestry Division is still new, this workplan will be an opportunity to assess the staff and partner roles, scope of work, and alignment with the Tree Master Plan goals. Broadly, this will cover new tree planting on streets and parks; tree maintenance (watering, mulching, trimming); tree replacement; education and outreach; and volunteer management.

As time allows, the fellow will support the resilience hubs initiative with the Office of Sustainability. This may involve creating agendas for and attending the bimonthly governance meetings; sending out follow up reminders and resources; meeting 1:1 with sites; identifying funding sources for project implementation; and supporting the strategic plan implementation for the network.

The fellow will also perform a variety of professional duties to support our Solid Waste & Recycling Program. Duties include but are not limited to:

– Supporting the recycling specialist with Sb 1383 (California’s short-lived climate pollutant reduction strategy) implementation and recordkeeping.
– Community outreach and education
– Support community recycling programs and events
-Research and produce memos for staff summarizing local and state legislation related to solid waste and recycling

Desired Skills

The City of San Leandro is a municipal public agency serving the community of San Leandro, which comprises 15 square miles between Hayward, Oakland, and the San Francisco Bay. Despite a population of over 90,000, San Leandro is known for its small town atmosphere and diverse neighborhoods with over 32% Asian, 27% Latinx, and 12% Black representation across the City. Like many other Bay Area cities, San Leandro faces immediate climate impacts from annual wildfire smoke and extreme heat days, as well as long-term impacts from sea level rise, yet is limited by a small staff and resources to address the issues.

As San Leandro continues its implementation of the Climate Action Plan, building internal capacity and buy-in on the climate projects is essential. The CivicSpark fellowship will focus on organizing the residential tree planting program by coordinating with property owners, managing volunteers, and presenting educational sessions to community partners. The fellow will work with the Sustainability Manager and Public Works Services Manager on developing an implementation workplan for the Tree Master Plan. This tree program work supports goals around addressing heat vulnerability, air quality improvement, climate equity, and tree canopy gaps. There will be opportunity to support the ongoing work of the Resilience Hubs Initiative in network building, facilitation, and strategy development.

Organization & Workplace Highlights

Sustainability staff can provide in-depth history for San Leandro as their hometown and current workplace. The growing Asian and Hispanic populations have shifted the community needs over the years as well as corresponding outreach approaches that can best serve the public.

With the small geographic area, there are not as many climate-focused community groups specific to San Leandro as in other parts of the Bay Area. However, with the existing relationships between the Sustainability Office and community partners, it is possible to have more community-driven efforts and build the infrastructure for community members to step into leadership. Budding organizing efforts are emerging around social justice movements and can be fostered for stronger leadership presence by black, indigenous, and people of color.

In acknowledgement of past and current systemic racism and inequities, the City of San Leandro developed a city-wide equity plan adopted in summer 2022. The implementation work continues with the Culture Team.

Community Highlights

San Leandro provides a small suburban community setting set against the urban backdrop of the San Francisco Bay Area. With the housing market more affordable here than in the rest of the East Bay, many residents have lived here for generations and are persisting despite regional gentrification and displacement. The city offers several local breweries (Drakes, 21st Amendment, Fieldworks) and a host of new restaurants in the downtown area. Major events include Downtown Farmers Market (spring-fall), the annual Cherry Festival (June), Okdroberfest (September), San Leandro Artisan Market (fall), and It’s a Wonderful Night (December). Sites such as the Marina shoreline and Lake Chabot Regional Park provide natural getaways for hiking, walking, and camping. When needing to get out, San Leandro has two BART stations and is easily accessible to the rest of the Bay Area.

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