Our latest project: Trees for Streets

We’re really proud to announce the launch of our latest project, Trees for Streets. This is the new National Street Tree Sponsorship Scheme.

It enables local councils to host their own street tree sponsorship schemes on the Trees for Streets online platform. Local residents will be able to visit the website and easily sponsor a tree to go outside their house or somewhere in their local neighbourhood.

The aim of the project is two-fold, to plant upwards of ¼ million trees over the next 10 years, transforming our streets into verdant lovely spaces, whilst empowering local residents to take ownership of the world outside their front door. This is also a great way to dissolve barriers between councils and residents.

Street trees make it more likely people will go outside and take some exercise.

Collaboration

This project has been a true collaboration. We love collaborating. Trees for Streets is run in partnership, with the progressive charity, Trees for Cities. The scheme has been supported by the Environment Team at the Greater London Authority, and has had financial support from the City Bridge Trust and the Postcode Lottery.

We’ve been supported by the Mayor of London and the City Bridge Trust.

Co-design

A co-design group was established to help refine the programme. This group has comprised of local and city councils, arboriculture organisations, community groups and individual experts.

Interestingly, since lockdown the mass adoption of video conferencing platforms such as Zoom has made the co-design process much more fluid, and less expensive, which has meant we could do more of it.

Brand and narrative

We created a strong visual identity for Trees for Streets, which hand in hand with our narrative to help bring the project to life.

We mixed design expertise from the third-sector with creative and copy direction from the commercial sector.

We’ve developed a set of brand guidelines to give Trees for Streets a distinctive visual identity

Technology

Start with Local has a strong technology background. Our CEO has managed digital teams at uSwitch, AXA and Channel 4. Trees for Streets was approached in a very agile manner, and as a result we’ve been able to deliver to a tight schedule, and within budget.

It makes sense to use tried and tested technology. There’s very little point writing lots of new code every time you build an online product or service.

Local engagement

The Trees for Streets project will have a heavy focus on local level engagement. In this space successful outcomes start to happen when you get local ‘enough’. It’s essential to get under the skin of a neighbourhood, and connect in a way that is relevant to each community. That’s why we’re called Start with Local.

Sponsoring and looking after a street tree says this is a community that cares.

What’s in store in 2021

Trees for Streets will be going live to the public from Easter 2021. In the meantime, we’ve started working with a small group of city and local councils to get them set up with their very own local street tree sponsorship schemes. We plan to actively manage 20 local schemes during the first year of the project – and are really happy to engage with a few more councils at this stage.

Happy to chat

If you’d like to find out more about Trees for Streets or how we can support your organisation in the local space we’re only too happy to have a chat. Drop us a line to hello@startwithlocal.org.uk


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