Friends of Grand Rapids Parks provides education and training to help neighbors become knowledgeable in tree planting, maintenance, and identification. Certified Neighborhood Foresters are constant advocates and leaders for trees in their communities. We rely on our Neighborhood Foresters to help educate, advocate, and provide support for neighborhood-based tree projects.


become a neighborhood forester

To earn the Neighborhood Forester title, a person must attend the following four classes as well as a pruning project and planting project. Classes are offered in non-sequential order and can be completed at your own pace.

Tree Planting

Teaches you how to select a planting location, choose species and stock, plant a tree, and maintain it.

tree pruning

Provides an introduction to pruning, on-going watering, mulching and fertilization of young trees (to encourage proper tree form and structure).

Tree Identification

Helps you recognize common tree species in Grand Rapids by observing differences and using a standard dichotomous identification key.

Branching Out in Advocacy

Explores why trees and parks are important to our community, how our City manages them, and how to communicate with stakeholders to advocate for them.


Sign up for a class to become a Neighborhood Forester Trainee! We’ll keep you informed about upcoming classes so you can work toward your certification. If you have questions, email claire@friendsofgrparks.org.

tentative 2021 class schedule:

Feb. 10: Tree Planting
Feb. 24: Branching Out in Advocacy
March 10: Pruning & Maintenance
March 24: Tree Identification
April 14: Tree Planting
April 28: Branching Out in Advocacy