On April 24, four pink-flowering dogwood trees were planted on the Hofstra campus in Hempstead, Long Island in celebration of Arbor Day 2019. The planting is part of an ongoing effort by the university’s Tree Advisory Committee to create a greener Hofstra.
“Urban street trees, which can be seen on Hofstra’s campus, provide benefits economically and psychologically that far exceed what the eye can see,” said biology major Penelope Ramos ’20. “Hofstra strives to be at the forefront of educating and setting the example for surrounding local governments and future generations.”
The Council now has 33 professional Urban Forest Inventories/Mgmt Plans from around New York State collected for your perusal. Most of the inventories/plans were funded by grants from the Environmental Protection Fund (aka cost-share grants), with applications evaluated by NYSDEC staff. This compendium of Plans could be a very helpful resource under any circumstances but especially as you think about your community’s grant application for EPF grants Round 15 later this year.
According to grants administrator and DEC Environmental Program Specialist Michelle Higgins, under Round 14, there were 29 municipalities or not-for-profit (NFP) groups who received funding for Tree Inventory/Community Forestry Management Plans, 8 munis or NFPs who received Tree Maintenance grants, 13 munis or NFPS who received grants for Tree Planting, and 2 Cornell Cooperative Extension agencies (Dutchess and Nassau Counties) who received grants for Education Programming.
Urban Forest Inventories, Management Plans, and Reports:
On April 26, NYSDEC and the NYS Office of General Services (OGS) hosted a ceremony in honor of Arbor Day 2019. The gathering included members of the State Arbor Day Committee and state and local officials, including Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. A London planetree (Platanus x acerifolia) was planted on the State Street side of East Capitol Park, near the corner of the Capitol Building, to replace one that was lost during a storm. (Each year, a tree is planted ceremonially on the Capitol grounds).
In hot and steamy June of 2017, a team of researchers and arborists from Cornell University’s Urban Horticulture Institute (UHI), headed up by UHI Director Nina Bassuk, worked dawn to dusk evaluating the condition of the American elms and soils on the National Mall in Washington DC. This iconic landscape is often referred to as “America’s Front Lawn,” and the National Mall turf grass was fully renovated between 2010 and 2016, involving infrastructure upgrades, at a cost of $40 million dollars. Now, UHI hopes the Mall trees will get the same level of attention.
Bassuk and then-graduate student Yoshiki Harada worked together on soil evaluation, taking 108 soil samples back to Cornell, while ISA Board Certified Master Arborist Barbara Neal and UHI Visiting Fellow Bryan Denig performed an ISA Level 2 evaluation of the National Mall’s 550 trees. Bassuk and team also used ground penetration radar on a sample of 16 of the trees to find out precisely where the roots are.
The Council is jubilant that Past President David Moore has won the Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) Trailblazer Award, given to a professional under 35 who has made exceptional contributions to arboriculture and/or urban forestry. A video about David’s work is in the making (and we’ll share here on the blog as soon as it’s available). From the ADF press release:
“The title of Senior Tree Supervisor at the City of Oakland, California, belies David Moore’s age and accomplishments. During his tenure at New York City Parks, David developed a sophisticated system of tree procurement that is a model for urban foresters across the country, and he served as co-chair of the MillionTreesNYC committee. He also served as president of the New York State Urban Forestry Council from 2015-17, where he was highly regarded for his organizational and leadership skills.”
The Trailblazer Award description: “This award recognizes an individual under the age of 35 who has demonstrated leadership in forestry, community forestry, research, or tree care during the past five years. The Award winner will exhibit a collaborative spirit that inspires others to give their time, effort, and resources to improve our understanding of trees, tree planting, or tree care.”
In March 2019, the Natural Areas Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, and Yale School for Forestry and Environmental Studies released “Untapped Common Ground: The Care of Forested Natural Areas in American Cities.” This report is based on a survey of 125 organizations in 110 cities and how they manage their forests.
There’s a lot more nature in cities than people think! Urban natural areas represent 1.7 million acres but often don’t receive the investment, recognition, or care they deserve.
Urban forested natural areas can be a tool to achieve cities’ resiliency, climate change, and public health goals. More Americans are moving into cities, and for many, these places represent their best access to nature. The time to invest in urban nature is now.
The Natural Areas Conservancy and its partners will convene representatives from a select number of cities from across the country for workshops in fall 2019. Next year, they’ll publish case studies on how cities manage their forest natural areas. Check this page for updates on the project.
What are Urban Forested Natural Areas?
The term “urban forest” refers to all trees within a city including street trees, landscaped trees, private property, and forested natural areas. Forested natural areas are distinct from street and park trees in their size, biodiversity, and how they’re managed. They are important native habitats, and are the “woods” in cities.
On March 21 in Albany, NYSDEC and community leaders celebrated the commitment of NYS Tree Cities, Tree Line Utilities, and Tree Campuses to our collective urban and community forest. Six New York communities became Tree Cities USA for the first time in 2018: Canton, Lakewood, Middletown, Niskayuna, Orangetown, and Sackets Harbor. To learn more about becoming a Tree City USA, Tree Line USA, or Tree Campus USA, see the Arbor Day Foundation website. The ceremony also honored the winner of the 2019 Arbor Day poster contest.