Help Build San Diego’s Urban Forest 

Dig in! Join Forever Balboa Park for a hybrid series all about the importance of trees in our community, Balboa Park’s urban forest, and engaging topics to help you “plant it forward” in your own backyard. Rooted in hands-on learning, our family-friendly virtual series features tree planting suggestions and education on climate-friendly and native trees.

Plant It Forward 2021 – Building an Urban Forest is a hands-on virtual event from Nov 5 to 12 , 2021 celebrating trees in San Diego and inspired by Kate Sessions, the “Mother of Balboa Park.” Join us and share your images, stories, and planting tips on social media.

Ways to Participate
  • Join us in an at-home planting—pick up a FREE sapling at Balboa Park and plant it at home (details below)
  • Spread the word—share our mini-videos as they launch on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube)
  • Level up—support your local nursery and select your own climate-appropriate trees in celebration of Plant It Forward and San Diego’s urban forest!
We’ve partnered with SDG&E to create a series of mini video tutorials.

Check out the links below to learn more about the ecological benefits of trees, safe tree planting, choosing climate-appropriate trees, and the issue of inequity in urban forests. We’ll even supply you with your own climate-appropriate or native sapling, available for pickup at Forever Balboa Park’s Plant it Forward pop-up event (while supplies last). Trees nurture our well-being, help reduce the impact of climate change, and provide habitat for wildlife. Plant it forward today!

Plant It Forward Videos

The Ecological Benefits of Trees

Choosing a Native or Climate-Appropriate Tree

Safe Tree Planting

Inequity in Urban Forests


For more information on how to help improve tree equity, read this helpful blog post. 

FREE saplings available for pickup at our Plant it Forward Pop-Up Event 

Time: Saturday, Nov 6, 2021, 10 am – 1 pm

Location: Botanical Building Lawn

Quantity Available: 250 saplings

Please note that all saplings are available for pickup on a first-come, first-served basis. Limit 1 plant per household. You will be asked to fill out a brief digital form (name, email, zip code) upon pickup—we will not be sharing this information with anyone. Plants will be distributed beginning at the starting time listed until supplies run out.

5 Suggested Trees to Grow at Home
  • Quercus agrifolia, Coast Live Oak
  • Prunus ilicifolia, Hollyleaf Cherry
  • Platanus racemosa, California Sycamore
  • Pinus torreyana, Torrey Pine
  • Populus fremontii ssp. fremontii, Fremont Cottonwood
  • Sambucus mexicana, Mexican Blue Elderberry

Visit the instructions page for a step-by-step walkthrough on planting your native or climate-appropriate sapling.

Did you know? 

Plant It Forward falls on the week of Kate Session’s birthday, November 8. Kate Sessions is known as the “Mother of Balboa Park” for her work in landscaping the park in its early days.


Sponsors of Plant it Forward 2021 – Building an Urban Forest 

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Your donation goes directly to Forever Balboa Park’s unrestricted budget, supporting priority park improvement projects.

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