Advancing a culture of recreation, conservation, and public health anchored in nature experiences and a sustainable outdoors economy.
Americas for Conservation + the Arts (AFC+A) is seeking partnerships from organizations,agencies, donors, and citizens at large who are interested in supporting our Promotores Verdes (Nature Health Workers)
commitment to plant more than 1,000 trees in Denver’s most environmentally vulnerable neighborhoods
over the next three years starting this June, 2022.
Founded in 2008, AFC+A advances healthy communities through environmental and cultural stewardship that can best bridge inclusion gaps and serve the most underserved. As a Latina founded and led nonprofit, we are firmly committed to ensuring that all Coloradans have access to the outdoors and are engaged in conservation activities in culturally responsive ways. Our flagship outdoor recreation corps, Promotores Verdes (recipient of the 2020 SHIFT AWARD | 2018 Colorado Environmental Education Innovation Award), was established in 2016 with support from the US Forest Service and our sister social enterprise, CREA Results, to reimagine the role of Community Health Workers in the conservation & outdoor recreation workspace. In the award-winning Promotores Verdes iteration, Nature Health Workers merge the key concepts of public health and environmental stewardship to connect low-income Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) to public lands, educate about the long-term health benefits of nature, and engage families stewardship action, with a goal of restoring both nature and ourselves. The program includes BIPOC communities in a movement that has historically left them behind. The success of our work through this groundbreaking program (200 events over the last five years engaging 20,000 + PV participants and supported by 5,000 volunteer hours) has led to a historic partnership with the City of Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency, in which AFC+A’s Promotores Verdes will plant over 1,050+ trees over three years. As part of this project, we will work in Denver’s neighborhoods facing a disproportionate burden of environmental pollution, climate change, tree inequity, and lack of access to green space. We will conduct resident outreach and education, and plant trees on private property for more than 800 households. Even as Denver continues to grow rapidly, some neighborhoods experience significant inequities in the tree canopy, a valuable asset that mitigates the impact of rising temperatures as a result of climate change. The Colorado Sun newspaper reports that Denver’s low-income neighborhoods, including neighborhoods included in this project, have lower tree equity scores than most Denver neighborhoods, an indicator of climate justice. Tree canopies provide not only a connection to the natural world, but are critical in mitigating the impact of rising temperatures due to climate change. Denver is named in a Portland State University study as having the second highest surface temperature discrepancy in the nation between historically redlined neighborhoods and those with more robust tree canopies. Our tree planting effort is an ambitious undertaking but with the right resources in place it will result in an additional 1000+ Promotores Verdes equipped with the experience to advance healthy communities through conservation and human-nature connections as well as with direct pathways into the conservation and outdoor recreation workforce as a result of this #TreeEquity initiative. This groundbreaking initiative will also have an economic benefit for BIPOC-led small businesses, who will be engaged as partners and subcontractors in this work. We are looking for key partners to help us increase the impact of this project and to help offset the cost of the trees and support the long-term monitoring and care that families will provide. We envision several ways of partnering with visionary organizations and donors who can also benefit from a tax deductible contribution for their collaborative efforts: ● Donations of tree care and planting materials will allow us to focus the remaining budget on hiring community members to conduct the project’s activities. ● Donations of funds would scale the tree planting initiative: 1) increasing the number of Promotores Verdes who are trained as citizen arborists engaged in tree health education, monitoring, and restoration; 2) subsidizing the cost of trees to increase the number of trees planted; and 3) launching an online Promotores Verdes Academy with accreditation for citizen arborists. Donations of the following Denver thriving resilient trees are preferred: ● Ornamental: Redbud – Cercis canadensis | Apple – Malus domestica / pumila | Golden Raintree – Koelreuteria paniculata | Peking Lilac tree – Syringa pekinensis | Japanese Lilac tree – Syringa reticulata ● Shade trees: Bur oak – Quercus macrocarpa | Chinkapin oak – Quercus muehlenbergii | White oak – Quercus alba | Shumard oak – Quercus shumardii | Kentucky Coffeetree – Gymnocladus dioicus “Espresso” | Catalpa – Catalpa speciosa | Osage Orange – Maclura pomifera | Tuliptree – Liriodendron tulipifera | Hackberry, or Sugarberry – Celtis occidentalis and Celtis laevigata ● Conifers: Austrian Pine – Pinus nigra | Douglas Fir – Pseudotsuga menziesii | Arizona Cypress – Cupressus arizonica | Ponderosa Pine – Pinus ponderosa | Giant Sequoia – Sequoiadendron giganteum var. Hazel Smith Engaging BIPOC communities in conservation, environmental health advocacy, and the resulting Community wellbeing and resilience is a complex issue that demands a multifaceted effort. The Promotores Verdes model is a dynamic and sustainable one that is designed to understand and meet the communities’ needs as they evolve. It also elevates engaging in conversation to one that provides family and community connection. Your partnership through tax deductible funding and/or tree donation and/or volunteer support will help leverage this historic moment in which a major US city with the most polluted zip code in the country and too many neighborhood hot spots have chosen to partner with a small BIPOC led nonprofit rather than the typical big green or large business to advance this urgent work. If you would like to volunteer as a Nature Health Worker please contact firstname.lastname@example.org For donations or partnerships reach out to email@example.com
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2020 AFC+A Resilient Programs Report
BIOBLITZ 4TH GRADERS
U-CAN YOUTH CONGRESS for 8th - 12th grade
United Cultures for Arts + Nature is the Promotores Verdes youth program building a more inclusive generation of conservation stewards through mentorship, cultural expression, and a careers pipeline.