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Archive for the ‘Economic Benefits’ Category

By Seth Hawkins, Community Forester, Georgia Forestry Commission

We spend a lot of time sharing the benefits of trees, both tangible and inherent. More times than not, however, we are preaching to the choir of fellow tree advocates. Where we can make real progress is finding better ways to communicate those benefits to the average person who sees trees as just another part of the landscape. One powerful way to help people understand and appreciate everything trees do for us is to present those benefits in terms everyone relates to – money!

The suite of i-Tree Software can help summarize the benefits trees provide in real dollar values. This is an excellent communication tool and proof point for documenting often under appreciated ways our community forests work for us. The City of Winterville recently became a Tree City USA community, which truly was a community achievement. Two public hearings were held, both with well over 50 residents in attendance, during which residents, city council members and the mayor discussed ratifying a community tree ordinance. The members of the proposed tree board conducted an i-Tree Canopy survey of the city and came to the public hearings prepared with facts. They documented the city’s tree canopy coverage of 58 percent, which provides the community with $190,460 in annual ecosystem services! When the benefits provided by the city’s canopy were presented in dollar values, it helped convince many residents and council members that proactively managing the city’s trees was a sound investment with an impressive return.

Those hearings and positive feedback from the community resulted in the city council ratifying a tree ordinance and joining the Tree City USA program. The City of Winterville now has an active tree board, a certified arborist on staff, and has hosted two successful community events centered around trees. A city tree inventory was also conducted for a new community tree management plan. This transformation for Winterville happened in less than two years, and a great deal of momentum gained was due to the commitment of several dedicated community members, equipped with knowledge of the city canopy’s value; knowledge obtained through the free and easy-to-use i-Tree Canopy Program. Any municipal arborist or tree board member can learn to use the program and measure the same canopy benefit values for their community. To get started, all you need is a GIS shapefile of your city’s boundaries and to follow the link below. For guidance, contact your Georgia Forestry Commission community forester.

If we can learn to better communicate all the hard work trees do for us, we can reach an audience that values dollars, and makes sense!

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Have you seen the recent news?  Study on Urban Tree Loss Puts Georgia At Top Of List

Does your community struggle to understand the contribution trees provide to people every day? Do you need to justify your tree program with cost/benefit analysis? Are you interested in connecting trees to broad sustainability goals? i-Tree can help!

The Georgia Urban Forest Council, in partnership with the Davey Resource Group, the Georgia Forestry Commission, and the US Forest Service will host a workshop at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in Sandy Springs on Wednesday, June 27, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. targeting the practical use of the on-line i-Tree benefits calculator tools.

The i-Tree development team has been adding new features to make calculating the value and benefits of trees both efficient and effective. However, the various tool can be overwhelming and industry professionals often don’t have time to wade through all the options to get results. During this 1/2 day workshop, you will gain an understanding of the latest i-Tree tools and how to quickly use this resource to generate tree benefits. Incorporated group discussion will spark ideas on ways to use tree benefit information in various outreach and promotion efforts.

REGISTER HERE. $20 – Lunch included!

7:30 a.m. – Check-in.
8:00 a.m. – Welcome and facilitated discussion
8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – Davey Resource Group will present on the i-Tree suite of tools. Focus will be placed on web based tools including: Canopy, Design, Planting, and MyTree.
11:30 a.m. – Facilitated discussion
12:00 p.m. – Lunch and networking

*** Bring your personal laptop or tablet computer to maximize workshop experience ***

Workshop sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Region. ISA CEUs applied for.

 

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For the third year in a row, trees as green stormwater infrastructure will be the main topic at the Georgia Urban Forest Council summer program, August 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Norcross Community Center, 10 College Street. Karen Firehock, Executive Director of the Green Infrastructure Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, will kick off the program with a presentation on the valuable role of trees in stormwater management with some examples from Norcross and Alpharetta. The Green Infrastructure Center, Inc. (GIC) was formed in 2006 to help local governments, communities, and regional planning organizations, land trusts and developers evaluate their green infrastructure assets and make plans to conserve them. GreenBlue Urban, an international company that helps cities with integrating stormwater management into urban tree planting design, will also highlight their green infrastructure projects and tools. Christine McKay, Water Protection Division, US EPA Region 4, will facilitate a panel discussion of community leaders, arborists, landscape architects, and planners on challenges and successes in their communities regarding trees and stormwater management. Lunch is included. CEUs will be available. Register here.

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If you haven’t already, now is the time to register — We are excited to invite you to participate in the Tree Board Webinar Series in partnership with the US Forest Service and the North Carolina Urban Forest Council.

Through this series of 5 free webinars, we will present ways that your tree board or commission can function more efficiently and effectively within your community. Learning more about the political process, how to communicate your message, community forest management opportunities, and how to engage your volunteers will provide mechanisms for your board or commission to have more impact and better manage your urban trees and green space. This webinar series is useful to newly established boards, as well as boards that have been around for a while but need ideas for how to move forward or gain new energy and focus.

Attending three or more webinars and passing the associated quizzes, earns a tree board education certificate and a resource guide which contains valuable information that will help your board well into the future. Stay engaged and take advantage of this networking opportunity to move your tree board to the next level.

Although each webinar is free to attend, you need to pre-register for them in order to gain access to the live presentation. The webinars will be recorded and available for viewing for up to one year, but you must contact Leslie Moorman (NCUFC1@gmail.com) to gain access. Click here to register for each webinar.

Even though you may have missed the first webinar (Dec., 2013) in this series, you can still participate in the other live webinars.

January 7, 2014 – Understanding the Political Process and Where You Fit In
One of the primary keys to being an effective tree board is understanding how to navigate the political process in your city or town. In this session, we will explore how tree boards and tree board members can advance their efforts by being more influential in making their case for trees.
Presenter: Paul Ries, Instructor and Extension Specialist, Oregon Department of Forestry

February 4, 2014 – Community Forestry Planning
Community tree boards are typically comprised of volunteers who are passionate about their natural resources, but do not necessarily have natural resource management experience. Planning the urban forest takes a lot of thought, time, and communication with community members. This webinar will introduce and/or review some of the components of urban forest management planning and to demonstrate an on-line management planning tool to allow tree boards to create a basic urban forest management plan.
Presenter: Eric Kuehler, US Forest Service

March 4, 2014 – Communicating and Marketing Your Message
Gain techniques and tips on how to communicate the importance of trees and your programs to engage citizens, secure media attention, and gain the support of city council and local governments. Figure out how to ‘speak for the trees’ to clearly communicate the importance of trees, as well as the impact and benefit for the community at large. This presentation will first cover successful message building, then give you the tools to spread your message in your community.
Presenter: Dawn Crawford, BC/DC ideas

April 1, 2014 – Getting Things Done: Engaging Your Volunteers
This session will highlight successful efforts to bring volunteers into your efforts and keep them engaged year after year. Knowing what kind of projects are appropriate for volunteers and how to keep them coming back for more is an important step to having a successful urban forestry program.
Presenter: George Stilphen, Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful and TBD
The Tree Board 101 webinar is now available as a recording.

December 10, 2013 – Tree Board 101
Learn about what tree boards do and how you can be an effective member of this group. This webinar will give you some insights into how groups can perform better and achieve more, making your time on your community’s tree board time well spent. Presenter: Dr. Robert Miller, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin Stevens-Point.

Click here, View Recording. You will be prompted for your name, email and organization; a Recording Key is NOT required.

If the above link does not work, copy and paste the following link into your browser. You will need the Recording ID to gain access.
Subject: Tree Board Webinar Series – Tree Board 101
Recording URL: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/usda/view
Recording ID: 9WQJ25-4

Once you watch the recorded webinar and you would like credit towards the Tree Board Education certificate the NC Urban Forest Council is offering to people attending 3 or more of the Tree Board webinar series, please email Leslie Moorman (ncufc1@gmail.com) for the link to the quiz.

The recording misses the speaker introduction for Dr. Bob Miller who is Emeritus Professor of Urban Forestry from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. During his 29 years at UWSP he developed the curriculum and supporting courses for their Urban Forestry Program which has grown to be the largest program of its kind in the US. Prior to his faculty appointment at UWSP, he worked as a forester for the US Forest Service and the Florida Forest Service. Dr. Miller retired from the University in 2002 and currently resides in Oriental, NC. Currently Miller is chair of the Oriental Tree Board, and a member of the TREE Fund Board (a trust that funds tree research) where he chairs the Research Committee. He also is a part time urban forestry and arboriculture consultant, and recently was made an Honorary Life member of the International Society of Arboriculture.

Leslie Moorman
Executive Director
North Carolina Urban Forest Council
919-614-6388
Visit us online at http://www.ncufc.org

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Over the past few years, many retailers have begun using environmentally friendly products.  More recently, however, businesses are going “green” more literally.  These leaves help in many ways: they increase property value, help save air conditioning costs, boost worker satisfaction, intercept storm runoff, and mark entrances to stores.

Studies show the more trees a shopping center has, the farther customers will travel and the longer they will stay.  This, in turn, leads to greater sales.  Moreover, customers believed merchants in areas with many trees were more knowledgeable and helpful than those in areas with less foliage.

Many big corporations are now starting to realize the value of plants and are putting together landscaping guides on how to properly care for the foliage on their property.

Read the full article in Shade.

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As the economy continues to struggle, local governments are getting rid of farmlands and forestlands to build subdivisions that will help to increase the property tax.  Although new revenues will be received, new costs will also be incurred.  Roads, schools, libraries, and water and sewer services will be needed for any developments.

The increase in subdivisions cuts down on the environmental help provided by trees and other plants while causing more harm through pollution and site disturbance.  Furthermore, in a study done by Dr. Jeffrey Dorfman, not once did residential development provide enough revenue to cover its associated expenditures.  Our wildlife is being sacrificed for an unworthy cause, and we will all start to see the affects of it.

There is a GUFC meeting at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center August 23, 2012 where Dr. Jeff Dorfman is going to be a speaker. The meeting is from 10 AM to 2 PM, and it is about Community Forestland Greenspaces: The Case for Conservation and Management.

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A single large tree can add $1,000 to $2,000 to the value of a home or business.  In several studies across the country, a well landscaped property adds an average of 15% to the value of property.
–University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

People claim they are willing to spend up to 12% more for identical goods and services in businesses located on tree-lined streets versus comparable businesses on streets with no trees.
–Kathy Wolf, College of Forest Resources at the University of Washington

Streets with little or no shade need to be repaved twice as often as those with tree cover.
–Center for Urban Forest Research

To meet state sewer standards, the City of Atlanta is spending $240 million to counter effects associated with the loss of tree canopy.
-Trees Atlanta

Workers without a view of nature from their desks reported 23% more instances of illnesses than those with a view of greenery.  They also reported higher levels of frustration and irritability. Those with a view of nature reported better overall health, greater enthusiasm for their jobs, less frustration and feelings of higher life satisfaction.
–Rachel and Stephen Kaplan, University of Michigan

A 50% reduction in the size of home lost results in a 25% reduction in the cost of services for the city or country.
–Jeffrey Dorfman, the Land Use Studies Initiative at the University of Georgia

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