The Park People
Sunday, June 4, 2023

TreeForce: An Urban Forestry Pre-Apprenticeship


Denver Residents - our TreeForce crews may be working in your neighborhood this year!

If you are interested in trees, please apply through our Denver Digs Trees Program. Applications are open until February 15th! 

Providing a pathway to meaningful work in a growing field

A well-staffed, robust tree care sector is essential for the health and resilience of our cities. However, we are facing a shortage of workers needed to grow, plant, and care for our urban forest. 

That’s why The Park People created a new Workforce Development Program in Urban Forestry. Launched as a pre-apprenticeship in 2022, TreeForce prepares adults from diverse backgrounds for meaningful career paths with family-supporting wages. Participants explore forestry career pathways through classroom, work-based, and hands-on learning. Upon completion of the program, pre-apprentices are encouraged to apply to the Colorado Arborist Apprenticeship Program or pursue employment opportunities in private tree care, municipal forestry, seedling production, tree planting, urban wood reuse, or higher education.

The pre-apprenticeship program facilitates partnership with various organizations in Denver and across Colorado to immerse participants in a full ecosystem of support, including critical wrap-around services like clothing, housing, and transportation. Cultivating every-day job skills and training in tree care is a central goal in these partnerships, expanding the scope of opportunities for participants. The pre-apprenticeship program also connects pre-screened and trained potential hires with employers to help bridge the gap between qualified tree-industry workers and the urban forestry sector.

Interested in joing a future crew? Contact Madeleine Hooker (, 303-722-6262) about eligibility requirements for pre-apprentices.

A Special Thanks

The Zofnass Family funded the program's planning phase. Their generosity is invaluable, granting us the capacity to ensure that this program is structured wisely to meet critical community and industry needs.

Our Partners

We currently work with Second Chance Center and the Colorado Tree Care Sector Partnership to deliver this program. We couldn't do this work without them!

Potential Participants

Interested in joing the crew? Contact Madeleine Hooker (, 303-722-6262) about eligibility requirements for pre-apprentices.

Partners in Action




For more information about the Workforce Development Program, please contact: Madeleine Hooker, Urban Forestry Workforce Development Manager, The Park People | 303.722.6262

To help fund the Workforce Development Program, please contact: Hayley Kwasniewski, Development Manager, The Park People | 219.689.4827

See our TreeForce crew in action!




















TreeForce 22' graduates Isaiah Ferris, Mario Aragon, Jose Salazar, and Field Crew Supervisor Matt Gillis planting a tree for a local Denver resident.


(Left) Mario Aragon, TreeForce 22', studying the health and fitness curriculum. (Right) Isaiah Ferris and Jebar Cannon, TreeForce 22', admiring their planting work in the field. 

TreeForce 22' participants learning about safety practices with Altitude Arborist. 

TreeForce Quizzes





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