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Welcome Torin, our new Director of Education & Engagement!

By Torin Dunnavant

May 21, 2017

How wonderful it is to return to home. I am very excited to join the Sacramento Tree Foundation team as the Director of Education and Engagement. I feel like my childhood was a quintessentially Sacramento one: growing up in Curtis Park, attending to McClatchy High, and working at Gunther’s Ice Cream. I eventually left town to attend San Francisco State, and ultimately relocated to Los Angeles nine years ago.

Living in Los Angeles was not something that I’d ever imagined in my life -- too crowded, too sprawled, and not enough nature. But once I moved there, I had the good fortune to work at TreePeople: a non-profit that engages Angelinos to take personal responsibility to improve the urban environment. Working for that organization opened my eyes to a city that I didn’t know existed. Thanks to that experience, I got to meet some of the most passionate and kind people who invested their energy in improving the health of their city by planting trees, saving water, and working together with their neighbors. And I got to know very well how close nature is to the city by hiking in the local mountains and kayaking the LA River.

Even though I have enjoyed LA deeply, my heart has always been here in Sacramento. So, when the opportunity to work at the Tree Foundation came up -- an organization that I have had so much appreciation since I was young -- I took it. With only a few weeks under my belt here, I am so glad that I decided to join the team.

Sacramento is lucky to have neighborhoods that have mature, stately trees. But we need to act now because mature trees need young trees planted by us to follow them up. And, much more important, many of our neighborhoods don’t have towering elms, oaks or plane trees shading them yet. I am chomping at the bit to help our NeighborWoods program work with communities to plant and care for trees in South Sacramento and in “naked neighborhoods” throughout the County. And I look forward to supporting our Sacramento Shade team who are providing trees and knowledge to residents that want to lower their energy bills and support community health.

There’s lots of work to do. And we need everyone to get involved. Trees are the key to our city’s future, but so are you. I look forward to meeting you soon at one of our events!