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2015 Annual Report

Board of Directors G. Rolf Svendsen, Chair Donald C. Willeke, Vice Chair Kurts Strelnieks, Treasurer Kim Jenkins, Secretary Dana S. Beasley Johanna M. Berg Kirk Brown Larry Crosby Bob Hand Douglas Peterson Thomas Redmann Rhea Rochon Scott A. Schnuckle Scott Seys

For 40 years, Tree Trust has been in the business of improving lives and landscapes. Started during the height of Dutch elm disease, Tree Trust founders, G. Rolf Svendsen and Don Willeke paired unemployed youth with jobs to maintain seedlings at municipal cooperative nurseries operated by Tree Trust. These trees were used to replace lost elms in impoverished areas of the metro, and from that unselfish act, Tree Trust was born. Over the years, Tree Trust has grown and expanded but we’ve stayed true to our mission to “improve the community environment by investing in people” through our program areas of community forestry, job training, and landscape services. Find out more about the history of Tree Trust by visiting our website at

Working Together to Reforest A longtime partnership between Tree Trust and the City of St. Louis Park

Environmental Education

Behind an alleyway, a hidden park, more than a quarter mile long, is found desolate with trees. Nearby residents desperately wanted trees planted, so the City of St. Louis Park and Tree Trust planted 40 new trees to fill the barren park as part of the Green Futures program. This isn’t the first time the City and Tree Trust have partnered. The City of St. Louis Park has been a long time partner, dating back to 1977. Not only do Tree Trust’s JobPrep programs construct and build projects in their parks and recreation areas, but Tree Trust’s community forestry department is at the forefront of this partnership, helping to reforest the city. This is becoming increasingly important as the threat of emerald ash borer moves in and more trees are lost to EAB. Through tree plantings, tree sales, and environmental education, more than 2,000 trees have been planted and distributed and over 1,400 residents educated on the importance and benefits of trees since 2009.

Tree Plantings

Every year, Tree Trust and the City of St. Louis Park partner on tree planting events. From city Arbor Day plantings to volunteer-run community plantings in neighborhood parks, dozens of new trees are added to the city landscape. Arbor Day plantings are large city-wide events where folks gather to plant and celebrate trees. Music, food, and other fun activities add to the excitement of Arbor Day. Community tree plantings bring people together as local residents get their hands dirty planting trees in their neighborhood.

Tree Trust provides environmental education to residents of St. Louis Park through community workshops and the Learning with Trees program. Learning with Trees is a year-long program that teaches elementary students the importance of trees through a school-wide tree planting day and an interactive traveling exhibit that is placed at the school for a week. In 2013, Susan Lindgren Elementary students planted 30 trees around their school campus. In 2016, students at Peter Hobart Elementary will get to do the same and many new trees will be planted on school grounds.

Tree Sales

Since 2009, Tree Trust and St. Louis Park have partnered to offer low-cost trees to residents. The city subsidizes the cost of trees, so residents and property owners pay a low price of $35 for a 10-gallon containerized tree. Approximately, 300 trees were distributed in 2015 and another 350 were available in 2016. Popularity for this yearly spring event has grown among residents and the sale keeps getting bigger every year.

The partnership between Tree Trust and the City of St. Louis Park continues to grow. Jim Vaughan, Natural Resources Coordinator for St. Louis Park, said “partnering with Tree Trust ensures the job will be done with the highest quality, thought and diligence. The beneficial effects of the City of St. Louis Park’s relationship with Tree Trust extends way beyond our partnership tree sale, community tree plantings and environmental education efforts and becomes embedded into the lives of children, young adults and St. Louis Park citizenry. Tree Trust’s work has profound and very positive influences on all of us, integrating sound work practices and critical life lessons into the natural environment.”

From YACC to Korea A Young Adult’s Success

“Growing up, I always wanted to be a leader, to help people,” said Prince, 21. “After I was introduced to Tree Trust and met others who participated in the program previously, I got inspired by their stories.” Prince came to Minnesota in 2010 from the Ivory Coast and started high school at Osseo Senior High. “That was one of the most difficult parts of my life so far. Due to the differences in environments, culture, language, the weather, and my new life, I found it very hard to adjust to my new American home.” Through sports, Prince found friends and a community where he felt at home. In the spring of 2012, Prince wanted to spend his summer volunteering and asked his counselor to help him find a place. She instead offered Tree Trust, a place where he could earn work experience and get paid, while learning more than he expected. “I learned from former participants that Tree Trust isn’t only a place to make money, but somewhere you can get real life experiences, create connections with people, give back to your community, build career options and gain new experiences and insights.” Prince was a participant in the Young Adult Conservation Corps (YACC) in the summers of 2012 and 2013. While at Tree Trust, he gained experience in the construction and landscaping fields through a number of projects including mowing and building a paver fire ring at a campsite, and he earned a forklift certification. Prince also worked on finding his way to go to college and eventually study abroad, a lifelong dream of his.

“For me Tree Trust was my “gateway” to success. I came from a family where no one had ever been to college, except for my uncle who graduated from Hennepin Technical College. I understand how much of a help morally and financially my entire family was in my college career, but Tree Trust provided me with all the guidance and direction I needed to be a successful student in college,” said Prince. During Prince’s final year of high school, he became a member of the Senior Leadership Team. In fall 2014, with the help of Tree Trust, he started college at St. Cloud State University and plans to earn his bachelor’s degree in International Relations; a great passion of his. “The world today is becoming a global village and with all these crises like climate change, civil wars, and war with terrorist groups. We have to be able to understand international relations in order to help because it is our obligation to make the world a better and safe haven for all.” As a college sophomore, he spent his fall semester studying abroad in South Korea – a program he chose partly due to their relationship with the U.S. - and wants to be an ambassador and/or work with the United Nations. “The first few weeks I had some cultural shocks and ups and downs. After months of exploring and learning firsthand the Korean culture, I feel very proud to tell you that my experience has been nothing but an incredible one.”

Building Green in NoMi

YouthBuild partners with Urban Homeworks for a “Green” initiative in North Minneapolis On a sunny and warm spring day in North Minneapolis, the last snow had melted and a YouthBuild crew of eight and one crew leader, were hard at work insulating the last side of a new construction “green” home. They only had a short time left until their work on the home was done. The “green” home the crew was working on was part of the Green Homes North initative created by the City of Minneapolis. YouthBuild got involved in the initiative with our longtime project partner, Urban Homeworks, who was one of nine developers chosen by the city. This initiative will build 100 energy efficient homes over five years to revitalize neighborhoods in North Minneapolis. From February through May, the YouthBuild crew worked on the nuts and bolts of this 1 ½ story, 1,600 square foot house using only green techniques. The crew used products such as Zip System®, to prevent air leakage, and InSoFast, an energy efficient insulation. Two representatives from InSoFast came to visit the site to instruct the participants on installation and were so impressed they stayed the whole day to work with them. The representatives said the crew members installed it “like pros with precision and confidence” and the crew completed it in a week. While working with InSoFast, two crew members and their constrction trainer came up with a method of “turtling” in order to get the insulation up to the 45 degree angle peak of the roof. They would hook a piece of

insulation on their back, to the suspenders they were wearing, and climb up the ladder – they used this method for both the front and back of the house. “It was great teamwork and very successful,” said Zack Zehrer, a construction trainer from Tree Trust leading the crew on the project. The crew also installed and flashed all the windows, energy efficient ones of course, put down plywood paneling upstairs, framed the main floor and the upstairs ceiling, and built a stairwell to the downstairs. They finished by prepping for the steel siding on the house and garage by placing horizontal fuming strips on the vertical siding. YouthBuild participants usually work on rehabbing old homes in North Minneapolis and rarely work on new construction. “This was a very different process than rehabbing and a great process for participants to learn, especially if they want to go into construction,” said Zehrer. “They wouldn’t have gotten this experience otherwise” “It was a good project for us. The kids learned a lot, were very invested and took a lot of pride in their work.”

Through the Years Looking back at 40 years of Tree Trust In a classroom at Brookside Community School is where it all started. No computers, no air conditioning, only a tiny classroom where G. Rolf Svendsen ran the first few summers of Tree Trust. Founded in 1976 by Svendsen and Don Willeke, Tree Trust was started to address two problems in the community: the devastation that Dutch elm disease was causing to the urban tree canopy and the high unemployment and poverty rates at the time. The organization started with the summer program - a program that is still Tree Trust’s biggest today. In 1977, the summer program employed 1,400 youth, 12-16 kids per crew made up of mostly 14 and 15 year-olds, from suburban Hennepin County. These youth maintained seedlings at seven municipal cooperative nurseries operated by Tree Trust. Trees in impoverished areas, such as North and South Minneapolis, that were killed by Dutch elm disease wouldn’t be replaced as easily as other areas, so Tree Trust took the trees from the nurseries to plant in these areas. Cities, such as Maple Grove, and Fridley joined the co-op - they put up land and bought bare root stock - and in return they got nursery trees planted

in their cities. In addition to the founders, crew chiefs (now called crew leaders) and foresters made up the staff. Even though most staff were full-time foresters, urban forestry was a new field of study, so the foresters who normally did their jobs from fire towers in state parks adapted their skills to work on developing landscape construction projects, such as the Westwood Hills Boardwalk, which is still there today rebuilt a handful of times by Tree Trust youth crews. Some field construction projects were built using railroad ties and twoman crosscut saws; no chainsaws and no landscape timbers. Norm Champ, current executive director, was employed as a counselor with Tree Trust at that time and credits the boardwalk as Tree Trust’s big project that put them on the map. “St. Louis Park took a chance on us. That’s a big risk. Other cities looked at the boardwalk and said ‘how did you get that done?’ ‘How did you do that?’ We didn’t know we couldn’t. So we did.” Now Tree Trust’s relationships with cities has evolved where cities set aside specific projects for Tree Trust conservation crews to complete. In the 1980s, Tree Trust became a year-round organization with the

addition of the Work Readiness program. This program employed adults on welfare to work on landscape improvement projects. While this program only lasted seven years, it helped Tree Trust continue to build relationships with cities within the metro. Tree Trust also began working with Dakota and Washington Counties for the summer crew program. In the 2000s, Tree Trust added more youth-serving programs to expand into what we now call JobPrep. The Young Adult Conservation Corps started in 2003; the Community Support Program followed in 2004; YouthBuild began in 2006 and in 2007 our Youth & Young Adult Services case management program began. Leadership also recognized the opportunity to broaden our landscape services capabilities and added a revenue generating division, aptly named Tree Trust Landscape Services in 2004. In this our 40th year, our JobPrep programs will employ and serve over 1,000 youth and young adults, the Community Forestry program will plant and distribute over 2,500 trees, and Landscape Services will continue to grow and serve more customers throughout the metro.

1976 to 2016


Constructed solar greenhouse for MN Energy Alternative


Added Hennepin County youth crews

Twin Cities Tree Trust is founded by G. Rolf Svendsen and Don Willeke


Added Dakota County and St. Paul youth crews

Built Westwood Hills Nature Center floating boardwalk



11, 309 people served through Tree Trust

First year of training at Camp Courage for summer staff



Started Learning with Trees program

Added Washington County youth crews




Added Ramps Program

26,563 people served through Tree Trust




Received the Spirit of Trees Green Futures program wins program starts President’s Volunteer Service Award international Telly Award

Shortenend company name to just Tree Trust


Minneapolis Tree Sale starts 37,788 people served through Tree Trust


42 crews employed for Summer Youth Employment Program St. Louis Park Tree Sale starts



Employment training programs rebranded under the name JobPrep


participants served through 2015

469,968 trees,

shrubs, plants, and seedlings planted through 2015

2015 By the Numbers 3,585 Individuals Served

2,533 Trees & Shrubs Planted

1,425 people received trees through distribution programs 1,044 students served through the Learning with Trees program 250 volunteers helped with various events and programs 866 total participants served in JobPrep programs 177 credentials or certifications were earned by young adults through a variety of trainings

168 participants had perfect attendance

358 high school credits were earned

32 Governor’s Awards were earned by youth

45 environmental improvement projects were completed by participants

100+ program and project partners worked with Tree Trust


Statement of Financial Position 2015 ASSETS

Statement of Activity 2015 REVENUE Federal Grants and Contracts


State Grants and Contracts


Local Government Grants and Contracts




Earned Income


Investment and Other Income



JobPrep Programs


Male 55%


Female 45%

40-49 Female 1%Male

14-15 19%

22-29 15%

30-39 4% Age



These statements are based on the audited financial statements for 2015.

Participant Demographics

$70,916 50-59 1%


Total Liabilities & Net Assets





Total Expenses


Temporarily Restricted Net Assets

30-39 40-49


Property and Equipment

Unrestricted Net Assets

18-21 22-29

Landscape Services


Total Current and Long-term Liabilities

14-15 16-17


Accounts and Pledges Receivable

Total Assets


Community Forestry



EXPENSES 426,128


Other Assets


Management and General




Total Revenue

Cash and Cash Equivalents

Not Disclosed 1%

16-17 16%

18-21 43%

Caucasian 32%

American Indian/ Alaksa Native 2%

Bla ck

Black 57%

Asian 8%

Asi a

Race Un d


Am Na erica tive n I nd Cau ian cas ia n isc l

Contributors Corporations & Foundations $30,000+

Otto Bremer Trust Donaldson Foundation Pohlad Family Foundation


Cargill Foundation Donors of Minnesota Environmental Fund Xcel Energy Foundation


$1,000-$4,999 continued

Shakopee Lions SketchUp* Smikis Foundation Tennant Foundation UnitedHealth Group Employee Matching Program H.E. and Helen Warren Foundation Wells Fargo Foundation Lillian Wright and C. Emil Berglund Foundation

Katherine B. Andersen Fund of The Saint Paul Up to $999 Foundation AmazonSmile Foundation Connexus Energy Ameriprise Financial, Inc. Employee Gift Covanta Hennepin Energy Resource Company Matching Program Ecolab Foundation Apple Ford Shakopee Toro Giving Program* Apple Valley Rotary Club $5,000-$9,999 Bachman’s Nursery Wholesale ACBL Charity Foundation Caribou Coffee, St. Louis Park* Deluxe Corporation Foundation Costco* Jaye F. and Betty F. Dyer Foundation Crown Rental - Burnsville* Leuthold Family Foundation Eagle Creek Honey Farm Opus Foundation Holy Land Brand, Inc. Rahr Foundation International Coach Federation Kaleo Advisor Group $1,000-$4,999 KIND Snacks* Allina Health Systems Living Greens Farm Elmer L. & Eleanor J. Andersen Foundation R. Menden Accounting & Tax Service Baker Foundation Minnesota Mash Baseball The Beverly Foundation Platinum Handyman & Remodeling Bloomington Community Foundation Press-Sure Printing Bloomington Lions Club Shakopee Gravel Hubbard Broadcasting Foundation Sunrise Banks K. Hovnanian Companies, LLC Think Mutual Bank Kopp Family Foundation Thrivent Employee Giving Campaign Nash Foundation Xcel Energy Foundation Employee The Elizabeth C. Quinlan Foundation, Inc. Matching Program RBC Wealth Management Securian Foundation

Public Funders

City of Minneapolis

-Community Planning & Economic Development -Department of Health -Office of the City Coordinator

City of St. Louis Park City of St. Paul Right Track Program Dakota County Employment & Economic Assistance Department Hennepin County -Housing, Community Works, & Transit -Housing & Development -Human Services & Public Health -Regional Railroad Authority

State of Minnesota

-Department of Employment & Economic Development -Department of Health & Human Services -Department of Natural Resources -Housing Finance Agency -Office of Justice Programs

U.S. Department of Agriculture U.S. Department of Health & Human Services U.S. Department of Labor Washington County Community Services Department

*denotes inkind donation of goods or services denotes Green Futures donor denotes Tree Trust staff member in 2015 denotes Board Member in 2015 We have made every attempt to ensure the accuracy of this list. If you feel that your name was omitted or is incorrect, please contact Kim Lawler at 952-767-3881 or

Individuals $5,000+

Caroline Amplatz Giving Ken and Abby Dawkins Olseth Family Foundation Patricia and G. Rolf Svendsen


Katie Anderson and Doug Peterson Norman and Conni Bjornnes Jim and Carmen Campbell Janet Carstens Norm Champ Ronald G. Cornwell Larry Crosby Steven Eilertson and Cynthia Huntington Richard and Susan Goldman Robert Hand The Head Family Foundation Michael Huntington Kim Jenkins Paul and Carrie Martinson Barbara McGraw and Steven Mosow Kristin and Scott Schnuckle B H Semler Family Fund Dennis and Barbara Senneseth Theresa and Scott Seys Donald C. Willeke Douglas Winn and Susan Moore


Holly Anderson Carl Baer Ione and Kirk Brown Peter D’Ascoli Michael Grossman Kathleen Hawes John and Shirley Horn Kim Lawler Richard Neuman Wayne H. Reffke Damien and Rhea Rochon Stuart and Linda Ruehle Sam and Vera Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation Cami Whitt


Ruth Arneson Dana Beasley Johanna Berg and Greg Carlson Pete Berg Kay and John Bergman Robert J. Beugen Michele Bevis Bill and Mary Book Raymond Boyle and Susan Tuck Kathryn Boyne Michele Brennan Stephanie Brody Catherine Burrows Robert Cumming Molly Dinneen Terry Egge Stephen Eide Andrea Ekeberg John Elward David and Nancy Erpestad Cheryl Evans William and Ann Fox Thomas Gibson Mark Glover Rashann Goodwin Jayne Griffith Arlis and Erwin Grossman Karin Jean Grossman John Halpern Gordon Hanson Beth Painter Harrington Steve Havig Abby and Anders Hawes Johnna Hobbs David Hunter Scott Jenkins Richard and Carrie Jensen Kim Jensen Pfieffer Pam Jewson and Peter Swenson Terrance Jones Carl and Jeanette Jones Phyllis Kahn Kristin Keller Keith and Toni Kuffel William Kulcsar Kara Kurth Patricia Lemm Tabor James Lenfestey Lorna Levine Craig Luedemann and Mary Robischon Lee Lynch and Terry Saario Mark N. Lystig Giampaolo Malin Marla Marquis and Michael Stein

The Massicotte Family Richard M. Mast Kirstin McMullen Leif Nestingen Cynthia Noet Laura Nozal John H. Olson Kirky Otto David Paulson Jason Polley Mark Popovich James and Monica Preisen Curtis and Betty Provo Jack M. Provo Dale and Beth Raymakers Janis and Tom Redmann Derek Reise Jim Rustad Anthony J. Scallon R. Craig and Mariana Shulstad Greg Silverman Jared Smith Jeffrey and Patty Stewart Becky and Kurts Strelnieks Mary and Gil Sundeen Arnulf Svendsen Jim and Jane Vaughan Keith and Barbara Watschke Wendy C. Wehr Stephen and Sarah Weld James Wucherpfennig

Up to $99 Gilbert George Ahlstrand Taylor Anderson Randall Anhorn Erin Barnes-Driscoll Jeremy Bergerson Mindy Bialon Andrew Birkey Gina Bonsignore and Rick Garber Paula Bramante Jessica Briski Lisa Brom Steven and Mary Beth Bunnell James and Sally Burns Spencer Carlson Patricia Clawson Judy Cowden and Neil Bright Andrea Critchfield Andrew Dale Dr. Willie Dean Donna Edelen Kathryn Erickson

Up to $99,continued

William Feidt Ruth Fonstad Barbara Foote Aaron Freng Charles J. Frisch Cynthia Goehring Norman Grams Jean Greenwood Susan L. Griggs Nora Nell Hamburge Liesl, Scott and Olive Wilson Amy Hargens Jon Hawes Neal Holtan Diane Hubbard Susu Jeffrey Kevin and Pam Johnson Wally and Deb Johnson William A. Jones Robert Kean John G. Keimel and Ellen L. Kraft Nancy Kirchner Donna Koran Peggy L. Kotila Paul and Sally Kraske Donna and Edward Kraus Ronald Lagerquist Rod Lehn Karen Leiferman Mary Loberg and Mark Sonderup Stephen Lowe Catherine Lundoff Stuart Macdonald Dennis and Linda Maetzold Carolyn R. Maier Mark and Robin Maki Sherman and Patricia Malkerson Nancy and Terry McCormick Reed McEwan Jeffery J. McNaught and Lori M. Mittag Kara Mencel Norm E. Midthun Tom and Marilyn Miller Richard Miner Jerome Moynagh Mark and Sylvia Nelson Ty Nelson Sarah Novotny Gail and Dave Nozal Maja Numainville Linda Olson Deborah Olson Barbara Osadchuk Sally Peters

Allison Peterson Kerry Pioske Sean Ransick Renee Riba Matthew Roegge Georgene Sandstrom Sarah Schaffer Philip Schaffner Karen I. Schnuckle Vicki Schuman Terry Schwerm Joe Shade Rebecca Shedd Jack Spencer Kayla Strand Brian Strandberg Kevin Stroom Stuve Family Trust Jessica Faye Talley Brian Thielke Peter Thompson Grant Thrall Christopher and Judy Voigt William K. Wangensteen Harrison Warner Josh Williams Shawn Willy Richard Wilt Gary P. Winter Misty L. Wolcott James and Kathleen Wolf Keith Wyne Adam Zielie

2231 Edgewood Ave S, St Louis Park, MN, 55426

2015 Annual Report  
2015 Annual Report