ABOUT THE TREE GUILD
The Tree Guild was founded in July of 2005 when a like-minded group of
citizens came together to help maintain and improve the volume and
quality of our city trees through education and outreach.
WHY ARE URBAN FORESTS IMPORTANT?
Healthy urban forests clean our air and water, save energy through cooling
shade, raise property values, increase business profits and rekindle
neighborhood pride. They provide places for children to play and provide
homes and food for wildlife. Our communities' trees have a lot to offer.
When selected, planted and cared for properly, trees can improve the
quality of our lives for decades to come.
ABOUT KRISTEN - PRESIDENT/FOUNDER
grew up in a tree hugging family. My dad has degrees in Botany and horticulture
and taught his three kids all they could stand to hear about trees and
their benefits. To this day, my dad and I have LOTS of conversations
about how some cities are so beautiful because of their lush, mature
trees. One of these conversations led to our formation of the Tree Guild
of Arroyo Grande in July of 2005. We were both dismayed to see trees
disappearing in A.G and not being replaced. We vowed to get involved
and be a positive force by partnering with the City to plant and preserve
From an early age, I loved being outdoors...walking, running, hiking,
gardening, camping. I am a stay-at-home mom to Madison (15 years old) and
Hailey (14 years old) and I am constantly trying to pass on my love of the
outdoors to them. My husband is a Fire Battalion Chief for the City of Santa
Maria and my hardest working volunteer during tree plantings.
I served on the City of Arroyo Grande’s
Planning Commission from 2007 to 2013 and served on the City’s Architectural
Review Committee for two years. I also serve as one of the board members of Arroyo Grande
in Bloom. In November, I was excited to be appointed to the
Arroyo Grande City Council for the remaining three year term.
DOWLAN - VICE PRESIDENT/SECRETARY/CHARTER MEMBER
Scott Dowlan is an Associate Landscape Architect with the California
Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 5 in San Luis Obispo,
responsible for projects ranging from urban streetscape improvements,
erosion control, and environmental mitigation. He has over 14 years
of experience as a Landscape Architect, including 6 years at private
international landscape architecture firms both in the Pacific Rim and
the United States and 8 years experience in the public sector with Caltrans.
In 1994 he graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San
Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture.
His career in the field of Landscape Architecture has educated him
on the benefits of trees and provided him the knowledge base and experience
on how to protect, manage and expand the urban forest.
interested in plants since I was a boy; as an eight year old in Burbank
I rode my bike to a local nursery to buy my mom a plant for her
birthday, a year or so later I tried grafting a lemon branch onto a
hibiscus and as a pre-teen attempted growing albino ivy from a cutting,
not knowing the importance of chlorophyll. My knowledge of botany grew
as I worked at West Valley Nursery in Tarzana while taking horticulture
classes at Pierce College. BA and MA degrees in Botany from Humboldt
State followed, where I also managed the Botany Department greenhouses.
Along the way I came to especially love trees, the biggest plants of
all, not just because of their beauty but because of the benefits they
provide for us and our communities. Trees: sequester carbon dioxide,
clean the air of pollutants, cool our streets and homes, help protect us
from skin cancers, bolster sales in business districts, increase
property values, decrease run-off and erosion, provide wildlife habitat
and make oxygen! That's why I helped found the Tree Guild and why I take
part in every opportunity to join other members of the Tree Guild to add
trees to our community.
SCHERQUIST - CO-FOUNDER
Like most of us, my first awareness of trees was camping in
the sierra with my family as a child. Some of my earliest memories are
of the forest canopy and the shelter, protection and the sense of well
being the forest gave me. I attended Luther Burbank Jr. High in Los
Angeles, where I learned about horticulture and botany and Burbank’s
work with plants and fruit trees. I even built a green house at home.
I went on to study architecture at the University of Southern California
where landscape and landscape architecture were part of the curriculum.
I still have my “text” book from landscape class, the 7th
printing of the first addition of the Sunset Western Garden Book. In
creating environments for human habitation, Architecture and Landscape
are closely intertwined.
I moved to Pasadena, CA, in the late ‘80’s. Pasadena is
located in the hot and smoggy San Gabriel Valley. Because a tree group
formed in the 1920’s to plant street trees, Pasadena is a much
more livable city than others in the SG Valley. When we plant trees
today in AG they are our gift to the next generation and all those that
follow. I believe that is a worthwhile gift.