Veteran Rider Phil Svoboda Returns for 25th Anniversary Tour

The first Tour des Trees route went from Seattle, WA to Oakland, CA, a distance of over 1,000 miles. That year 13 riders raised $89,000 for tree research and education. And so it began ...

I had the great privilege of riding in the inaugural Tour des Trees in 1992. My dear friend Jim Clark (a founding visionary for the Tour), was kind enough to invite and challenge me to participate in a bicycling adventure. At that time I did not know what to expect, nor did I have any idea of its significance, but I can unequivocally state that the original ride was one of the paramount endeavors that I have ever undertaken.

Twenty-five years later, I have signed up to ride the 2017 Tour des Trees alongside my good friend Jim Clark. I now reside in Spokane, WA and will be riding as a team member for the PNW Chapter. I hope that you will embrace me as your representative. For me personally, it is a great privilege to be connected to the Tour des Trees, and I hope you would feel the same about me being a team member.

Although I don’t work with trees or plants professionally, through Jim Clark, other ISA members, and my personal interests, I have come to appreciate the immense value of trees and simply wish to donate my time and energy to help the TREE Fund achieve its mission to support scientific discovery and dissemination of new knowledge in arboriculture and urban forestry. Funds raised by riders and Chapters support research grants, scholarships, and arboriculture education programs administered by the TREE Fund. I recall the quote by Nelson Henderson: “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” Although I may never directly benefit from the TREE Fund’s work and mission, I relish the idea that perhaps my efforts will benefit others.

The 25th Anniversary Tour des Trees ride will cycle through Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC on a mix of urban trails and bucolic country roads, a mere 619 miles. My personal goal is to raise $3,500 and ride in the entire week-long event. As I begin my training and work to meet the challenge of participating in the Tour, I invite you to think about meeting the challenge as a Chapter and be among the leaders in Chapter fund-raising.

Your help and support in this worthy cause is greatly appreciated. Here is a link to my fundraising page: Your donation is tax deductible (in the U.S.)and can be directed to a specific fund if you so choose.

For more information about the Tour and the TREE Fund please visit

By Phil Svoboda