Urban Forestry Institute takes place in Nashville, TN

2013 Urban Forest InsititueDue to the rapid pace of changes in technology and the influence of allied professions on the overall structure and health of urban forests, continuing education for today’s urban forest professional is more important than ever. Recognizing the need to stay abreast of the latest science and best management practices, the Forest Service Southern Region Urban Forest Program, and the Southern Group of State Foresters hosted a week long Urban Forestry Institute, early May in Nashville, TN.

The Urban Forestry Institute began in the 1990s when the Forest Service provided funding for the University of Florida to develop and deliver the Institute. The Institute included upper division and graduate level courses focused on urban forestry biology and culture, urban forest management and planning, and managing in the wildland-urban interface.  This year’s Institute wove together the technology of urban forest inventory and assessment, with local land use planning and public policy to inform development of scenario-based urban forest management plans.

Professional planners, city foresters, and faculty from the University of Florida, Auburn University, Clemson University, Southern University, and Louisiana State University served as instructors.  Over 40 participants from municipalities and state forestry agencies attended the workshop.

For more information contact: Eric Kuehler, ekuehler@fs.fed.us.

Connecting Kids to the Hogtown Creek Watershed in Gainesville, Florida

mary__kids_in_woodsInterfaceSouth and local partners, including the University of Florida’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Alachua County School District, the Gainesville Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs, and Alachua County Environmental Protection Department, received funding through this year’s Forest Service More Kids in the Woods (MKIW) cost share funding opportunity. The MKIW program supports activities and programs designed to spark curiosity about nature and promote learning through applications of science, technology, engineering and mathematics principles.

Project partners will collaborate with Westwood middle school science teachers to conduct outdoor science learning activities and service learning projects within the nearby Hogtown Creek Watershed in Gainesville, FL. Partners will also organize a school camp out, participate in career day events and science fairs, and conduct a train-the-teacher workshop on outdoor learning concepts and techniques. Project successes, materials and information will be shared locally, regionally and nationally through our combined partner networks.

To learn more about the Forest Service’s More Kids in the Woods program and 2013 cost share funding recipients visit: 





Risk Management in the Urban Forest

tree defectsRisk management is an established practice in most communities for gray infrastructure: streets, bridges, buildings, and utilities.  In the past 2 years, changes in ANSI A300 standards for arboriculture and subsequent development by ISA of the Tree Risk Assessment BMP and Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ) have created new opportunities for professional urban forest managers.

Current standards for risk assessment and management are based on the ISO 31010 components:

  • communication and consultation
  • risk assessment
  • monitoring and review

A comprehensive tree risk management strategy can have multiple benefits for the community and an urban forestry program.  These include:

  • increased public safety
  • better control of work scheduling & budgets
  • proactive disaster preparedness by urban forest managers
  • critical support for comprehensive urban forest management (tree health, ecosystem services)

Download Urban Tree Risk: References and Resources from Urban Forestry South for a current list of tree risk links.

Local Food from Forests!

The USDA Know Your Farmer,  Know Your Food (KYF2) initiative was started in 2009 and now includes well organized participation by all of the USDA agencies including the Forest Service.  KYF2 is focused on the growing interest in local and regional food supply, community gardens, access to healthy food, local/regional food infrastructure, andKid in Garden farm to school programs.

A recent webinar hosted by the USDA KYF2 Outreach Committee, the Forest Service in Region 8, and the National Agroforestry Center included five case studies demonstrating the “forest to table” concept.  These included:

  • Mike McCorquodale discussing the Job Corps Center gardening projects in Frenchburg, KY
  • Jim Chamberlain on his Southern Research Station work on ramps and forest farming techniques
  • Luis Rivera, who introduced local harvesting of yams and other tropical food from El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico
  • Donna Yowell introducing the Edible Forests of Mississippi orchard program funded by the USDA Specialty Crops and Urban & Community Forestry programs through state agencies
  • Tamberly Conway and the role Conservation Education plays with the national GreenSchools gardening program

The webinar also provided an introduction to the KYF2 program, resources, and funding opportunities.  Visit the KYF2 Compass website.

You can get a list of the webinar contacts and URL links here… or, the archived webinar here…