Tree Project Aims to Put the Oak Back in Oakland
Patricia Leigh Brown
23 May 2015
Photo: Jim Wilson
The students of ED4A: Design and Activism, instructed by Professor Walter Hood and Associate Professor Ronald Rael, planted sapling oak trees in Lowell Park in a campaign to “re-oak” Oakland. The project was conceptualized by Walter Hood in order to resurrect Oakland’s namesake.
After planting the 72 trees, Professor Hood and a group of students and others ceremoniously affixed an image of a historic Oakland map dotted with oaks to a chain-link fence in Lowell Park, where the new trees will incubate until they are large enough to transplant. Over the next five years, the plan is to donate the oaks to residents of West and East Oakland — neighborhoods in the city’s flatlands, which are far less verdant than the more affluent Oakland hills. The seed money of $10,000 for these first trees came from the endowment of Mr. Hood’s university chair at the College of Environmental Design.