New Mexico Community Service Partnership

The Dakota Tree Project’s mission is to plant and maintain trees and community gardens and provide training for conservation in Albuquerque. Focusing on high-heat, low-income neighborhoods, we attempt to combat systemic disparities in the urban tree canopy. The Dakota Tree Project is planting native, drought-tolerant trees in Albuquerque’s scarcely treed neighborhoods, along with community gardens in schools and public spaces. In doing so, we are incorporating volunteer opportunities for community strengthening possibilities. Trees can be donated and dedicated to honor loved ones and add personal investment in a tree’s wellbeing.

The Dakota Tree Project strives to provide and enrich communities within Albuquerque’s hot zones. We plant and maintain trees and community gardens which are shown to promote health and social well‐being by removing air pollution, reducing stress, creating cooler climates, encouraging physical activity, and promoting social ties and networks.

A non-profit inspired by their son Dakota.

Dakota William Powell passed away in August, 2017. He was a solid tree of a young man — standing tall and strong like the redwoods he loved so much — with a wingspan like a giant oak tree. Dakota was all heart and all talent, and he sadly suffered from a mental illness that ultimately killed him when he died by suicide at 26 years old. As an adult, Dakota was happiest and felt safest when he was in the redwood forests of Northern California. He loved to help plant trees and felt a special affinity for the protection and power that they provide.

Dakota also cared deeply about the inequality in our society and spent the final year of his life planning to use his talent and passion to create a glass blowing school for at-risk, disadvantaged youth in Albuquerque’s International District.

After Dakota’s death, we began to plant trees in his honor, and it was during one of these plantings in the International District that the idea for The Dakota Tree Project began to germinate. This area of Albuquerque has the lowest amount of tree cover of any neighborhood, and experiences much hotter summer temperatures than other parts of town due to the lack of shade, beauty and protection of trees.

The Dakota Tree Project aims to plant and maintain as many trees as possible in areas, like the International District, that have suffered from decades of underinvestment and neglect. In this endeavor, we hope to teach children about the power of trees and inspire people to help improve the daily quality of life and reduce the local effects of global warming.

The Dakota Tree Project honors Dakota William Powell’s desire to serve others locally by planting urban forests where they are most desperately needed to create lasting change. Please join us in taking action on behalf of our neighbors, community, and world.





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