McLean Trees Foundation History

In the fall of 1963, a group of citizens planted 300 dogwood, oak, and maple trees in commercial and residential areas of McLean. The project, initiated by the McLean Citizens Association (MCA), was a community effort and involved the highway department, nurseries, citizens groups, garden clubs, youth groups, and business establishments. This was one of the first documented community tree projects in McLean.

Tree planting continued to be a popular community activity in the mid-to-late 1960s. Paper recycling bins placed throughout McLean supported the planting and maintenance of trees by generating $4,000 to $5,000 annually.

For the next 34 years, several individuals were responsible for overseeing the projects and funds of “McLean Trees”, including Edward Mainland, John Adams, Wayne Wilson, Joan Kirk, Edna Wilson, Leighton Cain, Betty Cooke, Tim MacCarthy, Patricia Adey, and Richard Poole. In 2004, under Chairman Richard Poole, the McLean Trees Committee was incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) organization, the McLean Trees Foundation (MTF).

MTF Founder

Richard Poole

Richard Poole

Richard Armstrong Poole (1919-2006) chaired the McLean Trees Committee for 24 years, during its status as a semi-autonomous working committee of the McLean Citizens Association, through its development as an independent organization.

Poole was known locally as “Mr. Trees” and was instrumental in organizing the newspaper recycling bins at Cooper Middle School in McLean, a major source of revenue for the Foundation until 2014. In 1993 the McLean Citizens Association named Poole "Citizen of the Year." The Fairfax County Tree Commission gave him the "Friends of Trees Award" in 1998. In 2004, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) honored Dick Poole with a conservation award for his years of service. See McLean Connection March 3, 2004.



Currently, the McLean Trees Foundation works closely with MCA and other community and environmental groups on tree and environmental issues. In 2014, MTF joined the Adopt-a-Highway program to remove litter. Look for our signs on Idylwood Road between Great Falls Road and Route 7.


Supervisors Environmental Award

MTF board members (rt) Joyce Harris and Janet Gale
accepting Environmental Excellence Award from
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors 10/6/15


On October 6, 2015, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors awarded MTF the Environmental Excellence Award for its long history of work in the maintenance, restoration and enhancement of McLean’s urban forest.

MTF received the "Friends of Trees" award from Fairfax County on October 17, 2017 in recognition of its continuing efforts to preserve, plant and maintain trees in McLean. The Board of Supervisors highlighted MTF's Neighborhood Tree Program, the first and only educational Neighborhood tree planting program in Fairfax County designed specifically for homeowners.

Friends of Trees Award

(from left to right) Bob Vickers, Chairman of the Fairfax County Tree Commission,
Tom Blackburn, volunteer, Brenda Frank and Joyce Harris, MTF Board members,
and Jim McGlone, Virginia Department of Forestry