Introducing NYC Nature Map!

Together with NYC Parks, the Natural Areas Conservancy recently launched a NEW interactive web map featuring New York City’s 20,000+ acres of natural areas. 

Take me to the map! >

Named NYC Nature Map, this map identifies the locations of these forests and wetlands and provides detailed information about their size, current health, and improvement projects. Users can sort information by borough, council district, or park. This new resource provides an in-depth look into New York City nature and the actions that NYC Parks, the Natural Areas Conservancy, and other partners are taking to conserve and restore it.

Check out NYC Nature Map’s recent feature in Curbed!

“We’ve been sitting on this huge treasure trove of information but we have not to date had a way share that information,” says Sarah Charlop-Powers, Natural Areas Conservancy executive director. “We are really interested in having this as a resource for people who are nature enthusiasts and also for people who can utilize this information for planning and budgeting, and thinking about nature as part of our city’s infrastructure and how to make our city more livable.” Keep reading…

What is Buffalo Rain Check? A Pictorial Introduction

Students in a summer program test out the porosity of the porous pavement installed in the bike lane as part of Buffalo Rain Check’s Kenmore Avenue Green Streets Project.

In addition to public works departments, many cities find a driving force for urban forestry is the water and sewer agencies who are responsible for managing stormwater. Buffalo Sewer is one such entity who is fighting for more tree canopy cover throughout the City of Buffalo through its Rain Check program. In partnership with residents, businesses, developers, and local institutions, Buffalo Sewer is finding myriad ways to capture and absorb water in the City and its spaces, with environmental justice and equity as a main priority.

Here’s a pictorial highlighting some of the projects. You can also take a virtual tour of eight ambitious green infrastructure projects in Buffalo through the Rain Check site.

Located at the foot of West Ferry Street on the scenic Niagara River, Broderick Park is steeped in history, most notably as a major terminus of the Underground Railroad between the United States and Canada. The park pays tribute to the people who crossed the water from that point to freedom in Canada and is listed as a designated Network to Freedom site by the U.S. National Parks Service, a national network of historic places and educational or interpretive programs associated with the Underground Railroad. Recent renovations to the park include new entrance features, a small performance amphitheater, a waterfront promenade, new shelters, and revised parking facilities—all with the intent to uplift the space as a public memorial to the incredible local history of the Underground Railroad. The City of Buffalo recently invested over $1 million in a range of renovations to the park, including updated parking facilities with green infrastructure elements. By using porous pavement in the parking areas, the pavement surface keeps over 124,000 gallons of stormwater from entering sewers in a typical rainfall event, protecting local water quality. The porous pavement looks just like regular asphalt but allows water to drain through the paved surface into a recharge bed and infiltrate into the soils below the pavement.

Read more…

NYSDEC Offering Round 15 Grant Information Sessions in August & Sept

NYSDEC Urban and Community Forestry

Grant Information Sessions

The NYSDEC Urban and Community Forestry program is pleased to present information sessions in preparation for the Round 15 grant. Funding for urban forestry grants will be available from the Environmental Protection Fund for projects throughout the state.

The application for funding is expected to be available in Fall 2019. Project categories include planting, maintenance, tree inventories, forest management plans, and education programs.

To assist potential applicants, information sessions have been scheduled at the locations and times below. For more information or to let us know you will be attending, call DEC Urban and Community Forestry at 518-402-9428, email andrea.nieves@dec.ny.gov or sign up online at tinyurl.com/UCFGrantInfo. Space is limited. For all UCF upcoming activities: www.dec.ny.gov/lands/30859.html.

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Village of Cassadaga & Lily Dale Assembly’s First Arbor Day Celebration

Cassadaga and Lily Dale residents planting a ‘Red Sunset’ red maple (Acer rubrum) at Cassadaga ball fields. Cassadaga and Lily Dale are located about an hour southwest of Buffalo.

An Arbor Day grant of $1000 and instruction from Council Board Member Lori Brockelbank helped the Village of Cassadaga (pop. ~610) and Assembly of Lily Dale (pop. ~275) celebrate their first Arbor Day on Saturday May 18, 2019.

The family-friendly event started at the Cassadaga Library with crafts for kids, free saplings, refreshments, and Lori’s presentation. Among other things, she covered the benefits of trees; Right Plant, Right Place; tree planting and aftercare; and dealing with deer, beaver, and salt. She also talked about job opportunities in the urban forestry field, which piqued the interest of Cassadaga Job Corps youth. The group then headed out to plant trees.

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Governor Cuomo Announces $2.8 Million in Grant Awards to Combat Spread Of Invasive Species

A thicket of Japanese knotweed. Citation: Tom Heutte, USDA Forest Service, www.invasives.org

Funding Supports Invasive Species Rapid Response and Control, Research, Lake Management Planning, and Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Programs.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced more than $2.8 million in grants have been awarded to 42 projects that will reduce the negative impacts of invasive species through control or removal activities, research, and spread prevention. These grants are part of the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Invasive Species Grant Program and are funded by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund.

Across the state, DEC is using science to determine what actions will have the greatest impact in controlling invasive species. Awarded projects are spread across four categories:

Read more…

David Moore’s Advice to Budding Urban Foresters

David guest speaking for an urban forestry class at SUNY-ESF (College of Environmental Science & Forestry).

Seven Considerations for Budding Urban Foresters  

By David Moore, Senior Tree Supervisor, City of Oakland, California
Photos Courtesy David Moore

NYSUFC Past President (2015-2017) David Moore, 34, is the recipient of the 2019 Arbor Day Foundation Trailblazer Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in arboriculture and/or urban forestry by professionals under 35. After working for ten years in New York City for New York Restoration Project and then for NYC Parks, David is now the Senior Tree Supervisor for Oakland, CA in their Public Works Department. Within his first year there, David secured a million-dollar grant for a citywide tree inventory and 50-year urban forestry master plan for Oakland. Receiving the Trailblazer Award sparked in David a period of reflection about his career and mentors thus far. Here, he offers seven pieces of counsel for young or new city forester colleagues.     

Find or develop your niche by putting yourself at the intersection of two different specialties. 

Read more…

Federal Policy/Funding Update from Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition

 

The Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition (SUFC) is doing superbly effective advocacy work to ensure that urban forestry is adequately funded on a federal level. Check out their updated website, a fact sheet about who they are and what they do; and the following funding policy update. Special thanks to SUFC Policy Working Group Co-Chairs Rebecca Turner of American Forests and Danielle Watson from the Society of American Foresters.

Policy Update from SUFC 

U&CF FY2020 Allocated at $40M

It’s budget hearing season on the Hill and we’ve got great news! The House Interior Appropriations subcommittee (which oversees U&CF) allocated $40 million for the U&CF program! The additional $12.395 million is to address pest outbreaks (for Urban and Community Forestry to prevent and address pest outbreaks [like Emerald Ash Borer], improve forest sustainability, combat climate change, and assist with reforestation efforts). Read more HERE.

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USFS Climate Change Specialist Leslie Brandt Coming to ReLeaf 2019

We are most fortunate to have USFS Climate Change Specialist Dr. Leslie Brandt as the 2019 ReLeaf Conference Friday morning plenary speaker and leader of a workshop later that morning.

In the plenary she will discuss “Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability of Urban Forest and Natural Ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic Region” and in the workshop, she zooms in on NY with “Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Strategies for New York’s Trees.”

To get background on Leslie’s work with her climate change cohorts, you can see a superb infographic here about the findings of the team studying the vulnerability of the tree species in the urban forests of greater Chicago. The full paper about this study is here.

The vulnerability case studies presented are most interesting. For example, find out why the Village of Riverside’s urban forest is Low-Moderately Vulnerable to climate change effects, while the City of Lake Forest is Moderately Vulnerable, while the Glencoe Park Distrist is Moderate to Highly Vulnerable. What can we do to make moderate to highly vulnerable urban forests in New York more resilient?

Renowned Climate Change Journalist Andrew Revkin Speaking at ReLeaf 2019

Andrew Revkin reported for The New York Times in 2003 from a research camp set up on sea ice drifting near the North Pole. Scientists erected the sign, then added “was” as currents were pushing the ice several miles a day. Photo by Peter West for the National Science Foundation. Photo in Public Domain

At ReLeaf 2019 (July 18-20), Saturday’s keynote speaker will be award-winning climate change journalist and Hudson Valley resident Andrew Revkin on “Forest Lessons in a Changing Climate.” The following bio for Andrew was originally published by ProPublica.

Andrew Revkin is the senior reporter for climate and related issues at ProPublica. He joined the newsroom in December 2016, after 21 years of writing for The New York Times, most recently through his Dot Earth blog for the Opinion section, and six years teaching at Pace University.

Revkin began writing on climate change in the 1980s. In the mid 2000s, he exposed political suppression of climate findings at NASA and editing of federal climate reports by political appointees with ties to the petroleum industry. He was the first Times reporter to file stories and photos from the sea ice around the North Pole.

Revkin has won most of the top awards in science journalism, along with a Guggenheim Fellowship, Columbia University’s John Chancellor Award for sustained journalistic excellence and an Investigative Reporters & Editors Award.

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Central Park Celebration: David Moore’s 2019 ADF Trailblazer Award

About 40 invited guests attended the Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) reception on June 6th in the Arsenal at Central Park to honor David Moore’s recognition as ADF 2019 Trailblazer. The Trailblazer Award recognizes outstanding achievement in arboriculture and/or urban forestry by professionals under 35. At the reception, a video (above) about David’s work was unveiled, David gave an extemporaneous, from-the-heart speech, and attendees enjoyed a reception on the Arsenal roof, overlooking the southeast corner of Central Park.

Revelers on the Arsenal rooftop, from left: former NYSDEC Urban Forestry Program Coordinator Mary Beck, current NYSUFC President Karen Emmerich, David Moore, and Past NYSUFC President Andy Hillman.

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