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Urban Knights Dig in with Friends of the Urban Forest

XC - L to R Chris Costa, Logan Means, Justice Hinojosa, & McKaela Christenson (no credit)

(L–R) Chris Costa, Logan Means, Justice Hinojosa and McKaela Christenson. Courtesy of the Athletics Department.

In addition to running the streets of San Francisco, Academy of Art University cross country recently had an opportunity for a different kind of workout, partnering with Friends of the Urban Forest to prepare an area in the Mission for planting trees.

“Friends of the Urban Forest is an organization that McKaela Christenson brought to my attention regarding potential volunteer opportunities,” said head coach Torrey Olson. “Since then, I’ve seen FUF tags on trees and gardens all over San Francisco, and it’s cool to know we helped with one of those. I’m proud of the kids for taking the initiative to make our program part of this event.”

Friends of the Urban Forest is a thriving nonprofit organization committed to revitalizing San Francisco’s urban forest, building community and taking a local leadership role in mitigating global environmental problems through the simple act of planting trees.

The Urban Knights helped add to the more than 48,000 trees in over 1,100 neighborhoods arranged by FUF, an organization that has a strong partnership with the City and County of San Francisco, is well loved among San Franciscans, and has an outstanding reputation among urban-forestry organizations nationwide.

“I really enjoyed it and we got to garden on a section of BLICK in the Mission,” said Christenson, a fashion design major. “It was fun to work together with the team in a way that improved our community and therefore our quality of life.”

Among the preparatory responsibilities, the ART U artist-athletes were turning soil, laying compost, moving ground features, such as rocks. When that was done, they handled the unloading of flowers and plants which would offer a fresh new look full of life.

“It was great to get a good day’s work in,” said Chris Costa (Motion Pictures & Television). “We live in a place where you don’t get to do that as often and give back. Something you walk by every day you can take for granted, so it’s good to be able to understand the work that goes into it.”