By Jeff Roe, Urban Forestry Team Leader
As I reflect on the last year, what stands out most for me is the great people that I work with – both staff and partners!
This has been a year of change, with new structures and leadership within the agency. Nonetheless, the staff dedication and leadership support for our program, and the work we do, remain strong. We have also had some staff changes this year: we added a new coordinator to the team, Brad Johnson, to serve the West Central area of the state; Bobbi and Dan joined the team to help with grants and the urban assessment program, respectively; and later in the year, Bobbi moved on to a full-time position within another DNR program.
I really want to thank and acknowledge our partners in urban forestry – from the members of our UF Council, professional organizations (League of Wisconsin Municipalities, WI Arborist Association, UW-Extension, the Green Industry, etc.), and non-profits to our municipal partners! The great things happening in Wisconsin are largely a result of your efforts! The dedication, collaboration and enthusiasm of all of you make this an exciting productive and innovative industry.
Here is a list of some of the major accomplishments and activities our team has been involved with during 2017:
- Urban Forestry Team accomplishments in 2017
Our program started using the Department’s social media platforms for the first time (Facebook and Twitter) to communicate with the public regarding the Community Tree Map, Capital Park mapping project and Rotary club plantings.
- We worked with Rotary International, local municipalities and others to help them accomplish their tree planting goals.
- Awarded 38 grants totaling $573,000.
- Planted 477 trees in our 7th year of partnering with the Green Bay Packers in First Downs for Trees.
- Planted 90 trees and 16 shrubs on the Hank Aaron State Trail, Veteran’s Administration Hospital grounds and Milwaukee County parks through our partnership with the Milwaukee Brewers in Root, Root, Root for the Brewers for the 7th year.
- Twenty-six professionals from Wisconsin communities registered and are completing the fourth Community Tree Management Institute.
- The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council hosted a meeting with our counterparts in Minnesota (MNSTAC). Additionally, three other states sent representatives.
- Wisconsin hosted a meeting in Madison of the Northern Area Association of State Foresters (NAASF) – Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) Committee. This gathering contained many tours and informational sessions, attended by states throughout the Midwest and Northeastern United States.
- Hosted one of our counterparts from Minnesota to speak in-depth about our UF Assessment program and learn about MN’s U&CF program and strong partnerships with the U of MN and volunteers.
- Several networking meetings were hosted throughout the state to inform municipal employees about urban forestry issues.
- Collaborated with UW-Extension to offer 7 pruning workshops with 350 attendees and 6 chainsaw safety workshops with 80 attendees.
- Dr. Rich Hauer, UW-Stevens Point, is working with staff to revise and implement the ‘2017 Trees in Your Community’ questionnaire. The survey was sent to nearly 700 communities in the state and is still being processed.
- DNR implemented the new Wisconsin Community Tree map, an online application displaying community trees surveyed in tree inventories. The map has grown as more municipalities supply staff with data to add.
- Staff have completed many outreach efforts over the year with students including Arbor Day and Tree City USA celebrations, work force development events, and Bayfield Blooms, to name a few. Numbers for this year were: 193 Tree City USA communities; 10 Tree Line utilities; and 7 Tree Campus awardees.
- A Green Tier charter was signed by Wisconsin Urban Wood (WUW) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
- DNR partnered with the USFS to develop the pilot Wisconsin Urban Landowners Survey. Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee and Wausau residents were surveyed.
For more information contact Ellen Clark, Urban Forestry Communication Specialist, EllenA.Clark@wisconsin.gov