The Park People
Tuesday, October 3, 2023

TreeForce: An Urban Forestry Pre-Apprenticeship


Barnum, Barnum West, Valverde, Villa Park, and West Colfax Residents - our TreeForce crews will be planting trees in your neighborhood!

Interested? Apply to adopt a tree through this link.

All other Denverites, don't despair, Denver Digs Trees will be back as always next Spring. Get on the interest list now and we will email you when applications open in January 2024.


We are currently recruiting for the TreeForce class of October 2023. The third cohort will run from September 5th to October 26th. 

If you are a tree care company looking to hire, or looking to partner with this cohort, please contact Jane Smith,

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 Jane Smith (, 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 Jane Smith (, 303-722-6262) about eligibility requirements for pre-apprentices.

Partners in Action




For more information about the Workforce Development Program, please contact: Jane Smith, Workforce Development Manager, The Park People | 303.722.6262

To help fund the Workforce Development Program, please contact: Mackenzie Sanders, Development Manager, The Park People | 303.722.6262

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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