Have You Planted A Tree Today?

Louisville, KY   |


TreesLouisville's mission is to raise awareness of the value of the community forest and Louisville's tree canopy deficit and to fund tree planting in areas of greatest need. We are a catalyst for broad civic engagement through public awareness, education and engagement and campaigns that promote preservation and expansion of the tree canopy as a community-wide value and we convene interest groups to focus on canopy improvement.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Cindi Sullivan

Main address

PO Box 5816

Louisville, KY 40255 USA

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NTEE code info

Forest Conservation (C36)

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In 2015, Louisville conducted an Urban Tree Canopy Assessment which revealed that between the years of 2004 - 2012, the city lost the equivalent of 54,000 trees each year. To compound this trend, Louisville will experience a significant canopy loss due to the exotic pest emerald ash borer (EAB). Ash trees comprise 10%-17% of suburban and rural forests regionally, meaning hundreds of thousands of ash trees will be lost in Louisville and the surrounding area within the next five to ten years. Given the historic trend of tree loss combined with the inevitable loss of ash trees from EAB, aggressive steps must be taken to address canopy levels, or Louisville will experience a further decrease in urban tree canopy from 37% to as low as 21% over the coming decades.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Jefferson County Public Schools Campus Reforestation Program

The Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Campus Reforestation Program is a groundbreaking partnership initiated by TreesLouisville in 2015 with the goal of overall tree canopy improvement for the entire Louisville community. We are creating mini arboreta at campuses by planting a diverse assortment of tree species so that each campus offers a unique landscape experience and provides educational opportunities.

JCPS consists of 150 schools and over 100,000 students. It is the 27th largest school system in the nation and comprises over 2,300 acres in Louisville. Many of these school campuses were found to have tree canopy cover percentages as low as 2%. The Campus Reforestation Program was created to provide immediate benefit to the school students and neighborhoods by planting trees in these much needed areas while setting the stage for further campus projects contributing to Louisville's long term livability. From 2015 to 2022, over 80 of JCPS's 160 properties have been planted.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

In partnership with the Louisville Metro Department of Parks and Recreation, TreesLouisville offers rebates of $30 on the purchase of shade trees to be planted in residential yards. This program serves as an incentive for homeowners to plant trees on private property.

Population(s) Served

TreesLouisville and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet have initiated a creative and innovative partnership to plant and maintain roadside vegetation in an effort to improve the safety and overall aesthetics of roadside rights-of-way. Our partnership has facilitated the enhancement of pollinator habitats through the installation of native trees and implementation of no-mow zones, and is simultaneously helping to control invasive, noxious plants.

Our goal is to have safe, beautiful, stable, and self-sustaining landscapes with minimal maintenance requirements, designed with seasonal interest, plant diversity, and longevity in mind.

Population(s) Served

This program was initiated through a grant from the Michelin Foundation, a parent organization of Louisville's American Synthetic Rubber Co., which allowed TreesLouisville to take a deep dive into site analysis in the heavily industrial Rubbertown Corridor in west Louisville. That study provided recommendations for implementing green infrastructure projects that celebrate and enhance a positive identity of the Rubbertown area with the overarching goal of tree canopy and ecosystem services improvement for the benefit of those living within and around the Corridor.

One of the recommendations of the grant work was to create public outreach opportunities to plant 10,000 trees; these trees are planted "reforestation-style" in large open spaces, along roadways, on private properties, distributed to homeowners in residential areas, at schools, and at faith-based communities; in short, anywhere we can maximize tree canopy.

Population(s) Served

TreesLouisville's Canopy Corps volunteer program was established in January 2020 to provide an opportunity for Louisville residents interested in volunteering their time to help restore our tree canopy. Beginning by working in small groups with staff, volunteers built their knowledge and understanding of trees, tree planting, root systems, and other topics through hands-on, experiential learning.
Since 2020, this program has flourished throughout our community. Volunteer trainings are offered multiple times throughout the year, and volunteers work with us to plant, prune and maintain our young trees. Volunteers are required to attend 3.5 hours of training before being able to sign up for projects where they are provided with the proper techniques for planting and caring for trees, as well as provided knowledge about the condition of Louisville's tree canopy and the many benefits of trees. During the 2020-2021 planting season, volunteers planted nearly 200 trees at 12 different events.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of trees planted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Includes both landscape-size containerized or balled-and-burlapped trees planted and tree seedlings distributed at giveaways. 2019 total includes grant-funded Community Canopy giveaway program.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is to ensure that the public and private investment in increasing Louisville's community tree canopy is done strategically and collaboratively and to provide a framework for supporting and coordinating existing tree planting organizations and efforts.

We are working to identify and establish partnerships with large landowners within Jefferson County who may not typically be involved in tree planting efforts. For example, we have partnered with the Jefferson County Public School system to begin tree planting projects on dozens of campuses. These projects have the effect of increasing the overall tree canopy, as well as creating awareness and educational opportunities for the students, teachers, family members and neighbors within the community.

Education is an essential component of our mission; through increased awareness and understanding of the value of the urban tree canopy, we believe we can foster a new generation of environmental stewards who will continue to care for and grow our tree canopy for decades to come.

TreesLouisville designs projects with the intent of making them mutually beneficial to the property owner and our mission. We plan for the long term, ensuring the sustainability of our plantings, and develop enduring relationships with the organizations, businesses and individuals with whom we work.

We educate and build public awareness in a number of ways: through our public engagement media campaigns, we are able to reach out to the greater Louisville population. We have developed a tree-themed science curriculum unit that has been implemented into every 8th grade science class in the Jefferson County Public School system -- students will learn to identify, measure and calculate the ecosystem benefits of trees in their community and gain a greater understanding of the value of trees as urban infrastructure.

Since our founding, TreesLouisville has planted and distributed nearly 20,000 trees across Jefferson County. We have developed long-standing relationships with numerous local organizations, and continue to expand upon our partnerships.

We have launched a number of public awareness media campaigns, including our "Gift A Tree" and "Keep Louisville Cool" campaigns, and have partnered with the Louisville Metro Division of Community Forestry to provide shade tree rebates to residents who purchase and plant trees in Louisville.

Through a US Forest Service grant, TreesLouisville has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to run several rounds of the Community Canopy tree giveaway program, which allows residents to use an online tool to determine the ideal location on their property to maximize the energy saving benefits of shade. The program provides trees to residents at no cost and offers both a pickup and free delivery option.

We will continue our Jefferson County Public Schools Campus Tree Canopy Enhancement Program and plant trees at schools around the county with low canopy cover. These projects beautify the campus and benefit the students, teachers and surrounding communities with ecosystem services of air quality improvement, stormwater mitigation, a buffer from noise pollution and wildlife habitat. As of August 2022, we have completed projects at 80 of JCPS's 167 campuses and facilities.

At the beginning of 2019, with funding from the Michelin Foundation, TreesLouisville partnered with Landscape Architecture and Natural Resources interns from the University of Kentucky to conduct an environmental and aesthetic improvement study of the Rubbertown Corridor. Over the next several months, the students developed numerous landscape designs and TreesLouisville began working with chemical and manufacturing facilities in the corridor to implement these designs and plant trees to improve air and water quality, increase shade and add more green space to a primarily industrial area. In October 2019, TreesLouisville announced its goal of planting 10,000 trees within the Rubbertown Corridor over the next 3 years.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 01/19/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Charles Marsh

Gault-Marsh Development

Allen F. Steinbock

Whipmix Corp.

James R. Allen


Dan Barbercheck


Franklin Jelsma

Wyatt Tarrant & Combs LLP

Charles Marsh

Gault-Marsh Development

Mike Mountjoy

Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP

Bill Hollander

Jackie Cobb

Schneider Electric

Boyce Martin

Eli Brown & Sons, Inc.

Wesley Sydnor

Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District

JK McKnight

Man of the Land

Dawne Gee


Katherine Schneider

Henry V. Heuser

Unistar, LLC

Lonnie Bellar

LG&E and KU Energy

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/19/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/05/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.