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.

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.

I 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 trees.

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.

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.



I've been 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.

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.


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990 Filings
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