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Earth Day 2016: Plant Trees for Life

Brooke Bartholomew

Every year, TEECOM looks for ways to make a difference in the community of Oakland, where our headquarters is located. For the past two Earth Days, TEECOM brought the Architecture/Engineering/Construction (AEC) industry together to clean up and revive Lafayette Square Park in downtown Oakland. This year, we switched gears to support Earth Day Network’s goal of planting 7.8 billion trees around the world. To bring this effort to our local community, TEECOM partnered with Urban Releaf, a local non-profit organization, to plant 40 trees in West Oakland.


Why Trees?

Trees clean air by absorbing C02 and harsh pollutants that are harmful to humans and the environment. Urban areas, such as downtown Oakland, have a lack of trees and an abundance of pollutants. Luckily, with organizations such as Urban Releaf and the support of local volunteers, Oakland is moving in a positive direction to improve its air quality by making tree planting a high priority.

Urban Releaf has been an advocate for tree planting for more than 18 years, with a goal to plant 1,000,000 trees in Oakland. TEECOM was eager to support this goal by collaborating with their team on Earth Day. After months of coordinating with Urban Releaf, we were ready to plant trees and drought resistant plants at 4th Street between Clay and Jefferson Street. This area is one of the most heavily polluted in West Oakland due to its proximity to the Port of Oakland and Interstate Highway 880, making it the perfect candidate to take advantage of the many benefits that trees provide.

Putting the Oak Back in Oakland

On Friday, April 22nd 2016, more than 100 volunteers from 20 AEC firms and local organizations gathered to plant trees and plants on 4th Street. Before Earth Day, this area was a sight for sore eyes. The sidewalk was bare, there was an abundance of weeds and trash, and it was overall in need of a green thumb. Volunteers collaborated to pick up trash, pull weeds, and plant trees and plants to transform this area into a beautiful green belt. Not only will the vegetation create cleaner air, it will bring life to the area for residents and businesses to enjoy.

Earth Day 2016
Earth Day 2016 – Before and After
Earth Day 2016 - Before and After
Earth Day 2016 – Before and After

Although Mother Nature brought us rain the day of the event, this didn’t dampen the spirits of our tree planters. Volunteers danced to music provided by Santa Cruz DJs, enjoyed lunch from food trucks Little Green Cyclo and El Porteno, and ultimately worked together to make a major impact in our community and for the environment while having fun!

Earth Day Before and After4

Thank You to Our Partners, Sponsors, and Volunteers

We want to thank Kemba and the Urban Releaf team for making Earth Day such a memorable event. Your passion for Oakland’s environment is contagious. Thank you for allowing TEECOM to partner with you and for your dedication to teaching and supporting the volunteers who were at Earth Day.

Earth Day would not have been possible without our sponsors: CommScope; Ewing Foley, Inc.; Integral Group; AECOM; Diversified; KPW Structural Engineers; Shah Kawasaki Architects; Turner Construction Company; W. Bradley Electric, Inc.; WestCal Technologies; AE3 Partners; BKF Engineers; The Cummings Family; ESA; Portola Family Dentistry; Ratcliff. We’d also like to thank CORO and Sandis for supporting our event by volunteering.

Together, we planted trees for life!

Earth Day 2016 Volunteers

Every Day is Earth Day

Planting trees didn’t end on Earth Day for TEECOM and Urban Releaf. We will continue working together throughout the year to plant additional trees around Oakland. Want to get involved? Click the button below! You can also support Urban Releaf’s goal to plant 1,000,000 trees in Oakland by donating on their website.

Brooke Bartholomew
Brooke Bartholomew,

Whether she is managing a project pursuit or designing website graphics, Brooke is an expert in of all facets of marketing. She also makes time to give back to the community leading TEECOM’s giving back program, TEECOMcares, and is a committee participant for the Society of Marketers for Professional Services (SMPS) San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.