Community Forestry

New Orleans is known for its iconic tree lined avenues

But did you know that New Orleans is also the most deforested city in the United States? This matters for reasons beyond visual appeal. Our urban forest is critical to our ability to live with water, one of New Orleans’ most central challenges.

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Atlanta at a 2 mile scale – 2016


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New Orleans at a 2 mile scale- 2016

They also decrease subsidence, lower our air temperatures and energy bills, clean our soil, water and air, and improve our general wellbeing. We are dependent on our urban forest, and we need to replant it strategically and at a relevant scale – one  neighborhood at a time, not one tree at at time.  We need to build a large-scale canopy substantial enough to systematically protect our city and ourselves. Such notions of scale, and systemic benefits, did not dictate the planning for tree planting in New Orleans until SOUL was launched in June 2016.

Our Community Reforestation program works closely with partner communities to strategically reforest our city. Volunteer community planting events get the trees planted while bringing together neighbors. SOUL’s vision is to cluster trees in our partner communities until they are substantially reforested, and then expand into other neighborhoods, eventually planting the entire city. This way we can more quickly impact flooding, subsidence, pollution, rising temperatures, and community health.

Mapping Reforestation

SOUL maps every tree it plants to ensure its success and measure its impact over time. We’ve planted 1,877 large, native trees (and counting) since we launched in June 2016. Explore our map:

How can you take part?


Visit our Events page to see information about past and upcoming planting events.