Tree Ambassador Program

Join the Tree Ambassador Program to grow the canopy in your neighborhood by partnering with us and a community group.

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Our Roots Chicago’s Tree Ambassador Program provides community members with training, resources, and funding to enrich the urban canopy and build a community of tree advocates.

The goal of the Tree Ambassador Program’s is to increase tree canopy in priority areas, increase tree advocacy, and increase engagement in support of trees. It is made possible by the City of Chicago Department of Public Health, The Morton Arboretum’s Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI), and community-based organizations. The program is built around cohorts of four or more community partners on a typical two-year time frame. To form each cohort, community organizations apply to the program and are selected on their capacity to engage the public in tree-centered training and workshops.

The grant recipients are given priority status in their neighborhoods to request trees get planted in the parkways through the CHI 311 app by the City of Chicago. After the Tree Ambassador training, the tree ambassadors scout out tree planting locations. The canvassing process will include looking for utility boxes, checking for overhead wires, and letting the property owner know that they will be receiving a tree so that they can care for it properly.

Over the two-year period, the Tree Ambassador Program grant recipients can request as much as $20,000. These funds can be used to recruit tree ambassadors, supply community members with the proper working equipment, and financially support the community organization. Through training and community engagement, program participants will directly increase support, care, and advocacy for trees. Based in partnerships with community-based organizations this program will help fulfill our collective vision of an equitable and green Chicago.

Grow Greater Englewood and Imani Village community members gather for a photo after completing a Tree Ambassador training on August 28, 2023.

As a tree ambassador you are part of a community in which people care about trees.

Whether you join as an individual or with an organization, there will be a community of people behind you who are wanting to share their knowledge and love for trees.

Join as an organization

The program is built around cohorts of four or more community partners on a typical two-year time frame. The number of community partners will likely increase with increased funds and program time frame.

Partner organizations can request up to $20,000 in reimbursement to build out their support network and capacity to request trees and organize workshops.

The application to join the Tree Ambassador Program is currently open, you can review the form and guidelines here. The deadline is January 31, 2024.

Join as an individual

You can join the Tree Ambassador Program as an individual by joining a community group that is already part of the program. In the Tree Ambassadors Resources tab, you’ll find the partner organizations as well as where they operate.

Reach out to Melinda Escobar ( and she will connect you with the appropriate community group. Once the connection is made, the partner will train you how to use the 311 app to plant trees.

Partners can teach individuals to use the CHI 311 app and request trees in the respective neighborhood.

Email Melinda Escobar ( to get in touch with one of the existing partners.

Find resources for grant recipients.

Explore the one-page FAQ document, which provides a comprehensive overview for the Tree Ambassador Program Grant Recipient.

You can join as a partner if you are in a community organization with a 501(c)(3) status or affiliated with an organization that is and can act as your fiscal agent.

To apply and for more information please reach out to Melinda at


Our current partners include:

Chicago Muslims Green Team

Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community

Mi Villita Neighbors

St. Agatha Catholic Church

Stone Temple Baptist Church

I Am Able Center

Galewood Neighbors

Grow Greater Englewood

Imani Village

Southwest Collective

Friends for a Natural South Chicago

Young Men’s Education Network

Why are trees important in your community? What benefits do they provide? You can hear from some tree ambassadors in the videos below.

Rolando Favela

Maria Zaragora

Joko Supriyanto