SFEI and Google have won the Arnold Soforenko Award from the non-profit Canopy for significant contributions to the urban forest. The award is for our work on Re-Oaking Silicon Valley: Building Vibrant Cities with Nature.
The award ceremony was held at Palo Alto City Hall on January 25, 2018.
Google and San Francisco Estuary Institute, for breakthrough research, investment, and advocacy for native oaks and resilient landscapes, and the development of “Re-Oaking Silicon Valley.” Google and the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) have been instrumental partners to restore and enhance our local environment for people and wildlife. Google advocates for the study and planting of native oaks, prioritizes native plantings in their campus projects, and has invested pivotal funding for Canopy to kick off The Great Oak Count this fall. With Google funding, SFEI has created several significant research-based recommendations for groups like Canopy to use and share with others aspiring to build resilient and vibrant cities in harmony with nature. “Re-Oaking Silicon Valley” is not only a powerful tool for practitioners, but also a beautiful book that can inspire everyone to appreciate our native oaks, and to advocate and work toward the restoration of native landscapes.
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Drawing on resilience science, regional data, and local expertise, we will develop the vision and tools that will allow stakeholders in the region ensure that local actions contribute toward the creation of a high-functioning and resilient Silicon Valley ecosystem.
SFEI partner Canopy plants oaks in East Palo Alto (News)
Photo courtesy of Canopy.org
On Martin Luther King day, 170 volunteers came out to help plant oaks and other native landscaping at the St. Francis Assisi church in East Palo Alto. With guidance from SFEI, and funded through the Healthy Watersheds, Resilient Baylands project, the planting highlights the partnership between SFEI and the non-profit urban forestry group Canopy, based in Palo Alto.
Photo by Shira Bezalel
“Re-Oaking” is an approach to reintegrating oaks and other native trees within the developed California landscape to provide a range of ecosystem services. The concept has emerged from SFEI's research into the distribution and characteristics of California's former valley oak savannas -- a distinctive, widespread habitat that was mostly lost a century ago. Now valley oaks and other native trees are being recognized for the benefits they did -- and could again – provide, as communities design the ecologically healthy and resilient landscapes of the future.