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Community Forestry

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Community Forestry Outreach & Education

What is Community Forestry?
Community and Urban Forestry entail the planting, care, and appreciation of trees in public places. Community tree plantings have a long history, but the very first examples of organized plantings were in New England. Most notable was the planting of 1000 elms in Sheffield, MA over the course of three days in May 1846. The Big Elm of Sheffield was the inspiration and "village improvement" was the goal.

Elm Watch honors this inspired history by promoting "awareness of the community forest through advocacy, education and direct action.”

We assist the formation of tree boards or commissions in local towns and encourage partnerships with Tree Wardens, garden clubs, and other civic organizations. Such networks can help create and bolster municipal tree care budgets, and attract private resources. We encourage appropriate treescape design and implement best planting practices.

State and Federal programs, foundations and grant opportunities can aid a community in its desire to promote the health of its community forest. This section of the Elm Watch website provides links and downloads to information resources.

Planting and caring for trees are among the most valuable investments we make in our communities. Trees enhance property values, slow storm water runoff, clean air, shade sidewalks, streets, homes and yards, and accentuates community identity. The survival and growth of stategically placed singular trees is a viable goal, but each tree often begs a relationship to missing green infrastructure of downtowns, parking lots, clear cut campuses or once proud roadside treescapes. Well designed, professionally implemented community forestry programs promote healthy, sustainable community forests and appealing campus arboreta. Proper siting along with enhanced root zone soil preparations can make 100 year shade trees a reality, far exceeding the life expectancy of the average street tree. Streetscapes, parking lots and campuses each provide unique challenges and opportunities. At their best, each can become distinguished as arboreta. Annual Arbor Day celebrations are a great way to begin the restoration of your community forest.
Tri-State Resources
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is a source of useful community forestry information. Sign-up for Citizen Forester newsletter: email eric.seaborn@state.ma.us Massachusetts DCR Urban and Community Forestry Program
The Massachusetts Tree Warden Association has a website with membership information, links to Arbor Day activities, etc. You can visit their site Massachusetts Tree Wardens' and Foresters' Association
The University of Massachusett's Cooperative Extension provides a full range of horticultural resources. Cooperative Extension
For professional ISA arborists' services visit website. Certified Arborists
The State of Connecticut also has fine resources. Please see their website. Connecticut DEP Urban Forestry Program
Additional information Connecticut Urban Forest Council
Connecticut College campus represents a model for campus arboretum design. Visit their website Connecticut College Arboretum
The Connecticut Notable Trees Program has existed for over one hundred years. View inventory and photographs of Connecticut's champion trees. Notable Trees
The University of Connecticut has a strong Community Forestry Program. email contact: robert.ricard@uconn.edu. Also visit their website and cooperative extension resources. UConn Extension Service
The Connecticut Agricultural Experimental Station provides plant disease testing and supports several demonstration garden sites around Connecticut. Connecticut Agricultural Extension Service
Find your local Tree Warden through the Connecticut Tree Warden's Association. CT Tree Warden's Association
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's website is full of information and links. New York DEC Urban and Community Forestry Program
National Community Forestry Resources
Alliance for Community Trees is a national non-profit community forestry network with funding and other resources. Alliance for Community Trees
American Forests is the oldest community forestry organization in the United States and is the repository for the American Champion Tree Program. American Forests
The National Arbor Day Foundation was established in 1872 and certifies Tree City USA which establishes the benchmark for successful streetscape plantings. Arbor Day Foundation
Itree is a community forestry inventory and resource software for assessing urban ecosystems developed through the USDA and Davey Tree Company and The National Arbor Day Foundation. Itree tools
The Urban Forest Effects model developed by the USDA is a mapping and resource system to compare the value of green infrastructure in large and small communities. UFORE
Urban and Community Forest Advisory Council is a service of the USDA which networks with local organizations nationally. Treelink
The F. A. Bartlett Tree Company Research Laboratory in North Carolina is an excellent source of information. For specific tree questions search "Ask Dr. Bruce." Barlett Lab
Tree Committees in the Berkshire-Taconic Region
The Sheffield Tree Project Website
Lanesborough Tree and Forest Committee
Pittsfield Tree Watch Pittsfield Tree Watch
Salisbury Tree Committee
Housatonic Valley Regional High School Arboretum and Landscape Committee, Falls Village, CT
Townscape of Millerton, NY, email townscapemillerton@yahoo.com


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