Trust – a way of business in urban forestry

tree planted outside Miller ParkTrust is easy to find in a job you love, since it is what our relationships are built on. In our urban forestry program, much of our work depends on having trusting relationships.  Here is an example of a project to illustrate the importance of trust.

Seven baseball seasons ago, we began a program with the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club to get trees planted and seedlings distributed. This project involved several Forestry programs and organizational levels all working together seamlessly. As the project expanded, it also included other DNR programs.

As additional new partners came into the project, various elements of trust were crucial. Getting to meetings on time, being flexible, good communication (on the phone, via email and in-person), sharing information and being competent in our jobs were all important components. The most important elements were being open and honest with everyone involved.

As private industry and businesses were included in the project, building trust also required patience. We were relying on them for their technical expertise, to supply trees, meet delivery schedules, show up when promised, follow specifications, respect time, correct problems, provide feedback and follow-up.

Bringing others up to speed and sharing information about the project all helped cement trust into our partnership foundation. By including others’ ideas and working with Miller Park neighbors, we focused on meeting the long-term goals of others.

Thanks to our collaborative efforts based on trusting relationships, our project accomplishments over the past seven years have been extensive. We worked with county parks and communities to get trees into local parks to shade baseball fans. We planted maples for eventual tapping by an education center. We used a native plant pallet recommended by the business district. We expanded a planting on a trail spur from an interested business. We worked closely with historical preservation organizations on all levels to secure permissions and get trees planted to benefit veterans on the VA grounds. As part of this project, the Brewers have also distributed seedlings grown by the DNR reforestation program at one baseball game each season since 2011.

Working with partners from afar requires a high degree of trust to get projects like this off the ground, and it all circles back to co-workers, teammates and partners who step up for you to get things done when outside demands and challenges arise. These types of projects can’t happen without trust. Most recently, this support allowed us to deliver an unexpected product to the Brewers — a trail inventory on our new Wisconsin Community Tree Map. They plan to use it in future marketing! 

Trust – it’s not just a bank slogan, but the way we do business and accomplish so much in urban forestry.

 

For more information contact, Kim Gorenc Sebastian (kim.sebastian@wisconsin.gov), Urban Forestry Coordinator.

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