ReTree the District

We're not just planting trees, we're building community!

A fundraising campaign for University Heights Tool Library

Foster Collaboration and Cooperation while Beautifying University Heights

A group of University District community stakeholders have come together around ReTree the District, a project aiming to plant 1,000 trees across the University District over the next few years. The project will help repair the neighborhood's tree canopy while fostering collaboration and cooperation among students and residents.

Started in early 2014, ReTree the District has made great strides toward its goal of planting 1,000 trees across University District in two years. Between Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 plantings, 435 trees have been planted on the residential streets between Main Street, Bailey Avenue, and Eggert Road. 

The project has already brought over 1000 volunteers to the neighborhoods in University District, raised over $20,000 to purchase trees, and has supported the development of many partnerships and collaborations within the community. 

ReTree the District is also becoming known for its experimental use of ‘digital tools’ to support project planning and implementation. ReTree the District allows its decisions to be driven by the data collected through the innovative use of community mapping, SMS-based volunteer coordination, and digital troubleshooting. 

Drawing on the benefits derived from close collaboration and data-driven decision-making, ReTree the District has developed a new tree stewardship program that has begun to expand beyond University District in into the rest of the City of Buffalo. 

How have we been doing?

Our Mid-Project Review provides an overview of what ReTree the District has accomplished so far, and how it plans to continue improving operations, volunteer experiences, and tree survival rates through the second half of the initiative through the use of mobile technology and integrated feedback.

About the Organization

University Heights Tool Library

The mission of the University Heights Tool Library is to provide communities with the tools they need to create the change they want.

The Tool Library accomplishes its mission through the work of its members and the partnerships it builds with block clubs, community nonprofits, businesses, educational institutions, and local government. A membership to the tool library gives individuals and groups access to an inventory of thousands of tools for one small annual fee. Sharing resources in this way allows communities to build wealth by lowering costs typically associated with community development projects. From planting trees and building community gardens to fighting blight with public art and reclaiming public green spaces, the Tool Library provides citizens with a platform to improve the world around them.