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At the Georgia Urban Forest Council’s annual College Tree Canopy Conference, held at Agnes Scott College (ASC) on Sept. 22, student Claudia Mitchell provided a presentation on the Urban Forest Sustainability & Management Audit System, designed to provide a framework for comprehensively evaluating urban forest management programs.

The primary objectives of the audit are to:

  • engage the full spectrum of the organizations’ management team: executive, financial, resource, and outreach,
  • provide program direction that increases the level of professionalism in urban forest management,
  • conduct a gap analysis of management practices and the health of green assets
  • increase the health of the green assets managed by the program, and…
  • optimize this management for identified ecosystem services (i.e. reach an acceptable benefit:cost ratio).

This audit system (the checklist and the process) can be used for municipal or county urban forest management programs, or to evaluate college or corporate campus management programs. The system is particularly suited for the independent evaluation of participants in Arbor Day Foundation programs like Tree Campus USA®, Tree City USA® or Tree Line USA®.

The checklist and spreadsheet tool were developed in cooperation with Agnes Scott College Office of Sustainability and the ASC Arboretum Advisory Committee. Agnes Scott College is located in Decatur, Georgia.

The information for this article was provided by the Leaves of Change Weekly of the Centers for Urban and Interface Forestry.

Susan Granbery:

Excellent article by my counterpart in Virginia, Paul Revell. Thanks NYSUFC for posting this.

Originally posted on TAKING ROOT:

USFS-Strike-TeamThe Urban Forest Strike Teams (UFSTs) are a means for city foresters, state foresters, commercial arborists, and others to quickly come to the aid of a region whose urban forest has been impacted by a natural disaster. Here’s the backstory. 

Team Specialists discuss tree loss (and near miss!) with homeowner after Hurricane Gustav. Because it impacted a public street, the tree was marked for FEMA removal and reimbursement. Team Specialists discuss tree loss (and near miss!) with homeowner after Hurricane Gustav. Because it impacted a public street, the tree was marked for FEMA removal and reimbursement.

by Paul Revell, Urban & Community Forestry Coordinator, Virginia Department of Forestry ♦ Photos Courtesy Urban Forest Strike Teams

In 2003, Hurricane Isabel cut a devastating path across Virginia, leaving lots of damaged trees in its wake. Several of the Tidewater cities were hit hard. Further inland, the state capitol of Richmond lost more than 10,000 public trees. Between 2002 and 2005, North Carolina and South Carolina suffered several hurricanes that also caused tremendous tree damage and loss.

Urban foresters were frustrated that there…

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A limited number of scholarships are available for 501 (c) 3 nonprofits and tree board members to attend Georgia Urban Forest Council’s Annual Conference in Savannah, November 4 & 5, “The Forest Pharmacy: Nature’s Prescription for Healthy Communities.”

  • Application deadline: October 2, 2015
  • Scholarship amount reimburses for conference registration only, $195
  • Applicants must be a member of the Georgia Urban Forest Council or join upon scholarship application.
  • Conference registration must be paid for in advance. If scholarship is awarded, registration will be reimbursed immediately following the conference.
  • A maximum of 1 scholarship per organization may be awarded.
  • Applicants will be notified ASAP.
  • Open to all Tree Boards and 501 (c) 3 nonprofit groups.

To download a scholarship application, click here.

Georgia Tree Board Members and Urban Forestry Friends,

Check out the Urban Update, a Georgia Forestry Commission newsletter from the Sustainable Community Forestry Program. We hope to see you at an upcoming program or event. Have a great summer and thanks for all the work you do to care for Georgia’s urban forests.

Thank you,

The Sustainable Community Forestry Program Team

Great American Tree logo Don’t forget to vote in the Great American Tree Competition! You may vote for as many trees as you like, but only one vote per tree is allowed. The voting period ends July 30. Click here to see all of the nominations and to vote. After the voting period, an “all-star” urban forestry panel will choose the “Great American Tree 2015,” and runner-ups. Thanks for participating! Georgia’s nominees include: · Yarbrough Oak of Oxford nominated in honor of Connie Head and Beryl Budd. · Sentinel Oak of Waycross nominated by Jimmy Mock. · Live Oak of Darien nominated by Mark McClellan and Jennifer Davis. · Moon Tree of Athens nominated by Billy Paugh. · Homestead Oak of Hall County nominated by Emily Bagwell. Visit American Grove.org!

Great American Tree logo
A nationwide contest is underway to locate the 2015 “Great American Tree”. The American Grove is looking for trees that are community landmarks, have environmental or historic significance, or simply have a story that makes them extraordinary.

Nominations for the Great American Tree are due on June 30, 2015, and must include a photograph, a description of why the tree is special, its location, and its species and size, including height and/or diameter. Nominations may be posted to the American Grove website (www.Americangrove.org), Facebook (The Grove), Twitter (@plantyourlegacy; #greatamericantree), or as an attachment to an email (sgranbery@gfc.state.ga.us).

All submitted nominations will be posted to American Grove within their state grove. Georgia entries will be voted on by state American Grove fans (one vote per person) on July 30, and the winner will be placed in the national competition. An “all-star” urban forestry panel will determine the winner of the Great American Tree, which will be announced on September 15, 2015. The first place winner of the Great American Tree contest will receive $500 and a complimentary
scholarship to the Partners in Community Forestry (PCF) Conference in Denver, CO, November 18-19, 2015. Second place is $250 and a PCF scholarship, and third place is $100. The PCF Conference is designed to provide inspiration and tools that help strengthen community forests.

The American Grove is an online community for sharing tree-planting experiences and knowledge that will encourage others to create thriving community forests. It is managed by the Georgia Urban Forest Council, a nonprofit with the mission of sustaining Georgia’s green legacy by helping communities grow healthy trees.

The Georgia Forestry Commission provides leadership, service and education in the protection and conservation of Georgia’s forest resources. Learn more at GaTrees.org.

By P. Eric Wiseman, Ph.D. Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation Virginia Tech

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Urban forests are an important component of Georgia’s natural resources. They clean our air, protect our water, and beautify our cities. They also create jobs for arborists, nursery operators and urban foresters. According to a 2009 study by the US Forest Service, there are over 293 million trees in Georgia’s urban and community areas. Each year, thousands of these trees are cut down due to storm damage, pest infestation, land development, and natural attrition. This is a tremendous fiber resource that has high potential as urban forest products. Utilization of urban forest waste is good for both the environment and the economy. Processing downed trees into firewood, lumber, and other products diverts waste from landfills and creates revenue for an assortment of green industries.

Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) sees opportunities for greater utilization of urban forest waste around the state. For this reason, the GFC wants to better understand current practices and perceptions of waste utilization among tree care services and municipalities. The GFC has partnered with the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech to conduct an online survey of ISA Certified Arborists and municipal tree waste administrators during 2015. Virginia Tech researchers were selected as partners for this study because they have conducted similar surveys in Virginia and North Carolina as part of a multi-state project funded by the US Forest Service. In this survey, questions will be asked about current practices of urban forest waste generation and utilization by commercial and municipal operations. The researchers also hope to understand perceptions about the incentives, barriers, and interest level in urban forest waste utilization. With the results of this survey, the GFC will target its outreach and technical assistance programs to increase participation and profitability in urban forest products. Solicitations to participate in the online survey were sent in early March 2015.

For further information about this project, contact Dru Preston in the Utilization Department of the Georgia Forestry Commission at (478) 283-5117 or at dpreston@gfc.state.ga.us.


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