Chestnut Chats from The American Chestnut Foundation

From The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF)

Chestnut Chat: American Chestnut Restoration and Reintroduction Plantings
Friday, August 7 at 11:30AM (EDT) 

[Watch videos from the full archives of Chestnut Chats, from a Virtual Pollination Workshop to Using Drones to Benefit Chestnut Restoration to a Conversation with Chuck Leavell, Keyboardist and Chestnut Enthusiast.]

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Urban Forestry & COVID Forums

Urban Forestry and Covid in 2020 Forum from Chicago Region Trees Initiative
August 17, 1-3 p.m.

Learn how other community forestry programs are being affected by and overcoming challenges of Covid-19. You’ll hear about resources and opportunites to make the best of a tough year, inlcuding information of advocacy, grants, and creative solutions. ISA CEUs pending. Forum is free and open to all, but registration is required.

A second webinar (Urban Forestry and Covid in 2021) on planning ahead for stretching budgets and expanding resources in 2021 will be held on December 3, 1-3 p.m. More details to come.

Register in advance for this meeting here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Council Offers New “Tree City USA Reward Grant”

Michelle Sutton

Deadline to Apply is 09/14/20

The NYS Urban Forestry Council is pleased to announce grants for communities to plant large specimen trees or a grove of trees in a prominent location within the community. Full Details, Application, and Contact Info

Communities in New York State that have been a Tree City USA for at least the past five years can apply for up to $1,000. Funding has been provided by the New York State Urban Forestry Council.

Grant Goals

The intent of this grant is to encourage municipalities to sustain their community forestry program and maintain their status as a Tree City USA Community through a celebratory tree planting.

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Urban Canopy Can Be a Matter of Life or Death

An article by USDA Forest Service research scientists Michelle Kondo and colleagues in the journal Lancet Planetary Health created a global buzz in reporting results of a new citywide health impact assessment of achieving a 30% canopy cover goal in the City of Philadelphia. If done at a neighborhood scale it would cut heat-related illness and reduce premature deaths by 403 residents, including 244 in areas of lower socioeconomic status (95% confidence).

The study conclusion is that urban greening programs can be a means to improve public health, decrease health inequalities, and promote environmental justice. To quickly see canopy cover rates and socio-economic status in your community, visit i-Tree Landscape and enter your zip code or community name, or better yet, complete your own Urban Tree Canopy Assessment.

Nafisa’s Onondaga Earth Corps Chronicles: Chapter 3

The Rain Garden in James Pass Arboretum, in the Tipperary Hill neighborhood of Syracuse. Photo by Nafisa Tabassum
Nafisa Tabbasum:
As a Crew Leader for Onondaga Earth Corps (OEC), my responsibilities include directly supervising a small crew of young adults in either pruning or green infrastructure. In that capacity, and as a learner myself, I bounced around participating in many different projects this past week.

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Research: Which NYC Urban Green Spaces Support More Bird Species and Why?

Excerpted from a July 21, 2020 eBird article by Kathi Borgmann, “Larger urban green spaces support more bird species in New York City”

In a study out this week in Landscape and Urban Planning, Frank La Sorte, a research associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and colleagues wanted to find out what aspects of green spaces support the greatest number of bird species throughout the year.

To their surprise the shape of the green space didn’t change how many bird species were present during the year nor did the distance between green spaces. What mattered most was the size of the green space. Larger green spaces supported a greater number of species year-round. Green spaces with more tree cover also supported more songbird species that migrate at night in the spring.

So what does this mean for urban planners in NYC? “If you want to support birds in urban green spaces,” says La Sorte, “you should make them larger and plant more trees.” 

Nafisa’s Onondaga Earth Corps Chronicles: Chapter 2

Mid-summer harvesting at Salt City Harvest Farm in Kirkville, New York, where New Americans can grow crops from their family cultures. Photo by Nafisa Tabassum
Nafisa Tabassum:
Most of the week of July 13 was spent working at home because of a potential COVID-19 exposure, but fortunately I was back in the field by the end of the week. While I couldn’t spend much time in the field, I had several days to work on my AmeriCorps leadership project. As an AmeriCorps member, I must complete a set amount of hours doing direct service, such as pruning trees or tending green infrastructure. I am also responsible for completing a leadership project, which has to serve the community, Onondaga Earth Corps, or both.

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The Council Community at Mid-Year 2020: Narrated with Video Clips

This was initially shown at the 2020 mid-year Council Membership meeting. It looks at how the Council and larger NYS urban forestry community is adapting to the time of coronavirus, and video clips showcase two young professionals navigating these waters: Amanda Cruty and Nafisa Tabassum. Please enjoy and share!

Nafisa’s Onondaga Earth Corps Chronicles: Chapter 1

Onondaga Earth Corps Crew Member Nesha waters a quaking aspen. Though it may be hotter than hot, one nice thing about working solo outdoors is the ability to get breaks in the day from mask wearing.

Nafisa Tabassum’s OEC Chronicles Begins 

Last week was one of 90+ degree days. Trees are in desperate need of water and rain gardens are in need of love. This past week, I worked on the Green Infrastructure crew led by Taj Martin and Meqdad Ali. We hit several rain gardens in Syracuse, including the garden at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Comfort Tyler Park, and Percy Hughes Elementary School.

Generally, urban greenspace maintenance is collecting any trash from the site and removing unwanted plants that may compete with the species of plants that were deliberately planted. Rain gardens are a depressed area in the landscape that collects rain water and allows it to soak into the ground. Planted with grasses and flowering perennials, they are a beautiful way to reduce runoff!

All of the weed plants we remove are recorded as volume of cubic yards. This information is then inputted into a report that gets sent to Onondaga County and is used to monitor the health of rain gardens all across the City of Syracuse.

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