Citizen Foresters

Over the past 27 years, The Greening of Detroit has planted more than 93,000 trees on city streets with a lot of help from our volunteers.  The Greening also has an elite group of highly trained volunteers that are responsible for leading groups of up to 20 volunteers on planting days.  Citizen Foresters demonstrate best practices for planting a tree and are quality control supervisors and motivational leaders during our tree planting events in the spring and fall. 



Beyond tree planting training, Citizen Foresters can also receive training in volunteer management, community engagement, public speaking, tree identification and maintenance and pruning.  The Citizen Forester program is not just about planting trees.  Citizen Foresters work in the community with a diverse group of local non-profits and other governmen agencies. Citizen Foresters are also a social group with regular meet-ups planned throughout the year.

Becoming a Citizen Forester is a great opportunity to develop your leadership skills, gain experience managing volunteers, become familiar with different Detroit communities and meet others while working to make Detroit a greener place. Help us grow our positive environmental impact and join the best volunteer group in Detroit!  Become a Citizen Forester today!


Citizen Forester Overview



  • Guide and oversee up to 20 volunteers working in small groups of two or three people
  • Lead tree planting demonstrations and reinforce quality planting techniques
  • Keep groups on task by recognizing what needs to be done and delegating responsibilities to others
  • Promote proper tool usage and safety throughout the planting
  • Motivate and encourage volunteers to ensure a positive volunteer experience.

Required Time Commitment:

  • Attend one full-day Citizen Forester Training (eight hours including lunch break)
  • Attend at least three tree plantings for either  Fall Plantings (September to December) or Spring Plantings(March to June) total nine hours of planting  

Ideal Candidate:

  • 14+ years old
  • Prior experience volunteering in the City of Detroit
  • Prior experience planting trees or a desire to learn
  • Interest in working with Detroit residents, block clubs and community associations
  • Comfortable performing physical labor outdoors in variable weather conditions
  • Comfortable speaking in front of large groups, working with people, delegating tasks
  • Dependable, flexible and efficient in a fast-paced environment 


The field training will include:

• Tool Use & Safety
• Right Tree Right Place – Identifying
overhead and underground lines
• Two tree plantings (one giving a
mock demonstration)


The classroom orientation will include:

• Introducing The Greening of Detroit
• Urban Forestry in Detroit
• Planting Sequence Overview
• Community Relations
• Volunteer Management
• Citizen Forester Responsibilities
• Planting Day Schedule Overview

You can visit the The Greening of Detroit's Facebook page  here.

A full list of all optional training available to Citizen Foresters can be found here



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