top of page
Tree Planting_edited.jpg


Founded in 1981, we are a non-profit organization committed to revitalizing San Francisco’s urban forest, building community, and taking a local leadership role in mitigating global environmental problems through the simple act of planting and caring for trees and sidewalk gardens.

Annual Reports

Financial Reports


Friends of the Urban Forest connects people with nature and each other by planting and caring for San Francisco’s trees and gardens.


A climate-resilient city where all people, trees and plants thrive.


Environmental Justice

We ground our work in movements for justice, recognizing and addressing environmental harm caused by racism.


We work in partnership with the communities we serve to grow trees and gardens.


We are multigenerational stewards of the land we occupy, working to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis.


We instill trust by being accountable and transparent about our work to ourselves and others.


We celebrate the life-affirming power of trees and plants.


Our 3-year Strategic Goals

  1. Plant and care for 7,500 trees across San Francisco, growing the urban forest where it is needed most.

  2. Plant 75,000 square feet of gardens with at least 75% native plant species.

  3. Cultivate the next generation of urban land stewards through job training, education and professional development, training 500 San Franciscans in neighborhoods where we plant.

  4. Secure an ongoing, dedicated source of public revenue generating at least $10 million annually for tree and garden planting and care in San Francisco.

  5. Strengthen the organization’s ability to deliver its mission by

    • growing our audience by 10,000 new individuals

    • expanding our donor base to grow contributed revenue by 50%

    • recruiting and retaining talented staff who report over 80% job satisfaction

3 Year Goals

Friends of the Urban Forest started when George Williams, Brian Fewer, Keith Davey, Jack Spring, and Fred Smith decided to take matters into their own hands after the City and County of San Francisco cut funding to urban forestry in the late 1970s. Michelle Anderson and Isabel Wade, the Urban Forestry Consultant for the California Department of Forestry at the time, joined the five original founders and formed a board, which elected Ms. Wade as the first board president.


Together they mobilized community members to start planting trees. The first tree planting took place on March 7, 1981 – California’s Arbor Day – in Noe Valley. With the help of volunteers, they planted approximately 50 trees. The Glossy Privet (Ligustrum lucidum) at 3909 24th Street was the first one planted. Shortly thereafter, neighborhoods across the city began to organize their own tree-planting events with the leadership and support of the Friends of the Urban Forest. Ruth Gravanis was hired as its first executive director.


Friends of the Urban Forest planting a Glossy Privet (Ligustrum lucidum) in front of 3845 24th Street in Noe Valley during FUF's first planting on March 7, 1981 – California’s Arbor Day

bottom of page