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.
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?
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.
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.
Speaker: Andrew Revkin, Strategic Advisor, Media Innovation, National Geographic
Forests and the trees within provide important lessons and options, as human communities, always
too slowly, begin to recognize the need to build a more sustainable, resilient relationship with climate
and the biosphere. Andrew Revkin, in his fourth decade exploring and writing about the changing environment, describes insights gleaned in reporting on forests and the people around them from the Amazon to the Arctic to the Adirondacks. Read more about Andrew Revkin.
Climate change impacts and adaptation strategies for New York’s urban trees.
In the coming decades New York’s urban areas are expected to be impacted by increased temperature, shifts in precipitation, sea level rise, and more heavy storms. Urban trees along streets, in yards, and in parks may be vulnerable to these impacts, but there are things we can do to adapt. This presentation will discuss how to assess the vulnerability of urban trees to climate change and what trees may be particularly vulnerable in different parts of the state. It will also provide examples of strategies for adapting and resources for developing your own adaptation plan.
Hannah Vaughan Studio is a process driven studio focused on an anthropological approach to furniture and architectural projects. Hannah will showcase her skills in this urban wood chair demonstration.
NYS DEC Urban Forestry Grants
Speaker: Gloria VanDuyne, NYSDEC Urban and Community Forests Program Coordinator
The NYS DEC Urban Forestry grants program provides funding to help communities create healthy urban and community forests to enhance the quality of life for everyone. Learn about the grant categories, eligibility requirements and how to apply. Learn about how the grants are evaluated and when the next round of grants is expected to be out.
The Village of Massena (pop. ~10,500) is located in Saint Lawrence County, just south of the Saint Lawrence River. Massena Utility CEO Andy McMahon coordinated the Village of Massena’s effort to secure an EPF grant to fund a tree inventory and tree management plan, both conducted by ArborPro.
What was the scope and nature of the work you were applying for? Andy McMahon: The Village of Massena and Massena Electric collectively applied for a UCF grant. The UCF grant was to provide a tree inventory of the community and part of the town as well as a strategic plan for all areas surveyed. In the case of both the Village and electric utility, we are small and well-intentioned but not necessarily well versed in trees and tree care. This grant allowed for an arborist to come in and do an assessment of the types of trees we have in our public spaces and ROWs. The arborist gave us this inventory snapshot of our tree population as well as a strategic plan for what to do next.
Through EPF grants, the community of Akwesasne and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Forestry Resources Department performed a tree inventory and created the 2018 Akwesasne Community Forest Management Plan. The Plan presents the tree inventory data and an i-Tree Eco analysis of that data, and it provides direction for the stewards of the community forest in the southern portion of Akwesasne, where the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe lives. Southern Akwesasne covers approximately 10,000 acres, with about 3,000 acres in the urban interface.
Les Benedict is Assistant Director of the Environment Division of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and is the point person for the grants with NYSDEC. He spoke with us about aspects of the grant application and implementation processes and offers some suggestions for future applicants.
This Q&A is with Kingston Assistant Planner Kyla DeDea, one of the grant writers for Kingston’s successful EPF Round 13 grant application.
What was the work Kingston needed grant money for?
Kyla DeDea: The City of Kingston applied to hire a professional tree service to conduct a street tree and parkland inventory. The inventory included trees within the street rights-of-way and improved areas of Kingston’s Parks. The inventory also included identification of existing stumps to be removed and identified planting sites for future tree installations. We felt that adding these additional items to the inventory was important to assist in making informed decisions on where to plant new trees.
After being awarded and receiving quotes for the inventories, we were able to utilize the remaining funds to complete a Tree Management Plan. Both the inventories (July 2018) and the management plan (Sept 2018) were done by ArborPro. This was a great benefit to be able to complete both plans under the same grant. It put the City of Kingston in the position to be able to apply for funds to do much needed tree maintenance.
Round 15 of the Environmental Protection Fund grants for urban forestry related activities will open later in 2019. Here on the blog, we continue to showcase work that emerged from successful grants and give advice to future applicants from the folks behind those successful grants.
Prospect Park contains Brooklyn’s largest indigenous forest and sustains more than 10 million visits a year. Its 536 acres include woodland, lawn, wetlands, lake, meadow, zoo, ice rink, athletic fields, and more. It’s managed by the Prospect Park Alliance in collaboration with NYC Parks. Prospect Park Alliance Director of Landscape Management John Jordan had several key roles to play in the preparation of the Alliance’s grant application for Environmental Protect Fund monies, grants that are managed and allocated by NYSDEC.
Applications are now being accepted for the 2nd annual Urban Wood Academy, co-hosted by the USDA Forest Service, Humanim, and the City of Baltimore, with engagement by Dovetail Partners, Quantified Ventures, and Room & Board.
The Academy workshop will be held September 11-13, 2019 in Baltimore, MD (travel days: Sept 10 and afternoon of Sept 13).