Cindy Blain

Regional Network: 
Pacific Regional Network
Class Year: 
2019
Position: 
Executive Director
Organization: 
California ReLeaf
Location: 
Sacramento, CA

Since joining California ReLeaf in late 2014, I’ve prioritized urban forest grant programs that best support under-resourced communities, where trees are most needed. The goal is to strengthen all California neighborhoods through tree planting and tree care activism.  Urban trees are an excellent “gateway” to community activism, because trees touch so many aspects of our lives…as well as our souls. While trees are important, so are jobs, which is why ReLeaf has a green jobs initiative supporting educational outreach and accessible community college training for tree care jobs.

When I was growing up, I was lucky to be able to roam the woods in rural New Jersey and Connecticut. Now I believe urban trees are absolutely critical to human health, especially in California where 95% of the population lives in urban areas. Lots of new research supports what we all instinctively know: we need trees. And in California cities and towns, trees need us to water and care for them.

Other professional info includes serving on the California Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARRCA) and the California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection’s Community and Urban Forest Advisory Committee (CUFAC). Before diving into the urban forest at Sacramento Tree Foundation in 2008, I worked for Tandem Computers for 10 years in Silicon Valley and then "temporarily retired” when my kids were young and painted a bit. My BA in Art History is from Rice University in Houston – where most students were engineers and had no clue what art history was. “Orchestry?”  My MBA is from Georgia State University…because they had an exchange program with a French business school in Paris…to go see all that art in person.