Urban Soil Health

stewardship-2006-2The Nat’l Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) has been holding a series of urban & community seminars of interest to urban foresters.  Their next scheduled presentation is February 20th (Noon – 1pm EST).

Soil Health in Urban and Community Areas

As noted by presenter Clare Lindahl from Iowa, soil health is not just for crop land. This webinar will look at threats to soil quality, homeowner practices for enhancing soil health, and programs in Iowa and Ohio to promote soil quality in urban areas.

Speakers will include Lindahl, Executive Director for the Conservation Districts of Iowa; Wayne Peterson, State Urban Conservationist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship; and Holly Utrata-Halcomb, Administrator for the Hamilton County SWCD in Ohio.

To register, email Debra Bogar at deb-bogar@nacdnet.org WITH your name, title, district or business name and email address. Information to access the webinar will be sent by email.

U&CF Management and Research

A recurring theme (of interest from a technology transfer point of view) at the 2013 Partners in Community Forestry Conference this week in Pittsburgh was the need for data to support research.  Beth Larry, USDA FS Urban Research, spoke of this need at the closing session when she outlined the connection between partners, research and the process:

  • research direction (from the field)
  • research design
  • the need for data (from a range of sources)
  • science delivery to “bridge science & practice” (back to the field)

At concurrent sessions that morning, Lara Roman, USDA FS Research Ecologist, introduced the national network for tree growth & mortality (www.urbantreegrowth.org).  Following Lara was Theresa Crimmins, Nat’l Outreach Director for the National Phenology Network with a presentation on Nature’s Notebook.  This national database records life stages (e.g. tree leafout, blossoms, seed development, fall color) of plants (and animals) and the information has research and practical applications of relevance to local volunteer tree groups, and their community U&CF programs.  She highlighted recent work with Casey Trees in Washington, DC.

Earlier in the week Theresa made a similar presentation to the Society of Municipal Arborists and encouraged municipal and other professional arborists & urban foresters to get involved and involve their communities.

Visit these organizations and join thousands of professionals and volunteers throughout the nation that are contributing to long-term datasets to support current & future research.

Texas Emerging Communities

Many Texas communities are growing at an astounding rate. Small communities face unique obstacles during times of accelerated urbanization; community leaders need planning tools and technical support systems to help them prepare for high velocity growth before it happens – not after. To address this, the Texas A&M Forest Service is working with multiple partners on a state-wide project to educate community leaders and staff to proactively manage high velocity growth to improve quality of life by the conservation, protection, and enhancement of their natural resources. The project addresses six main focus areas: sustainable planning, community forestry, environmental health, wildfire protection, water conservation, and emergency management. The project website includes information about each of these focus areas and includes case studies, municipal tree ordinances, tree preservation ordinances, related web resources, how-to guides, and other informational resources.

To learn more visit: http://www.texasemergingcommunities.org/