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Exploring Trees and Equity in Boston through Literature: Speak for the Trees

Learn about tree and nature equity in Boston and trees in literature and art. Developed in partnership with Speak for the Trees.

Speak for the Trees

Speak for the Trees
Speak for the Trees aims to improve the size and health of the urban forest in Boston, with a focus on under-served and under-canopied neighborhoods.


Speak for the Trees works with residents at the community level through a tree inventorytree plantings, and tree giveaways.



The mission of Speak for the Trees is to improve the size and health of the urban tree canopy in Boston, with a focus on under-resourced and under-canopied neighborhoods.


  • We develop and co-create projects at the community level. We believe that change happens when residents have ownership over their spaces and are empowered to take action.

  • We view tree planting, care, and stewardship as a way to connect residents to themselves, their neighborhood, and the global environment. We raise awareness about the importance of trees and the role that every resident can take in planting and caring for trees. We partner closely with community organizations to better understand and more deeply engage residents in our work.

  • We are committed to partnering with the numerous existing local and national environmental organizations to build a healthy urban forest. Through robust collaborations and shared best practices, Speak for the Trees creates customized programs according to the unique needs, geography, and structure of each neighborhood. We envision a city with a healthy tree canopy that takes into account issues of equity such as diversity, race, socioeconomic status, and geography.

  • We advocate for updated municipal policies governing tree planting, neighborhood prioritization, and length of care to ensure trees are efficiently planted and strategically placed in communities that need them most.


Tree Giveaways  

In May 2020, SFTT gave away over 400 trees to residents.


Branching Out: Tree Inventory

Over the course of the next two years SFTT aims to engage residents, teens, and volunteers to inventory all of Boston's street trees. Over the past year our volunTREErs and teens have been busy inventorying over 5,000 street trees and 1,500 empty planting sites throughout Boston. You can see our map at OpenTreeMap.

Teen Urban Tree Corps

This year, 15 Boston teens explored the history, the present, and the future of 5 community forests in Boston: North Dorchester, South Dorchester, Hyde Park, West Roxbury, and Roslindale.

VolunTREEr Resident Engagement

SFTT is training volunteers to collect data on trees and help make Boston a more tree-healthy city. Please contact SFTT for more information.

Tree Equity Map

Tree Equity Map

Speak for the Trees, Boston is proud to present a Map Series to help residents, organizations, and municipal officials explore the distribution of canopy across Boston and the relationship between trees, demographics, and environmental justice.

We encourage you to explore your neighborhood and share the results with your friends, neighbors, and elected officials with the hashtag #TreeEquityBoston.