In 2016 the City of Hudson received a grant from the Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry program to help replace trees that were removed. But the story does not end there. The City of Hudson used this opportunity to engage with the community and educate others on the trees on their streets and in their parks.
Tree Treks are self-guided tree identification tour through beautiful urban forests. The treks help community members learn to identify trees, try a new type of tree in their yards, provide an outdoor classroom for kids, plant a diversity of trees, and build community through volunteer opportunities. In the Department of Forest Resources, from the University of Minnesota, 2014 Green Report a Tree Trek is defined as “a guided tour, a path that leads the visitor through a park, stopping at each different tree species.”
This is a relatively inexpensive and easy project aimed at engaging residents with their local green spaces. This project is a great way of introducing people of all ages to trees and providing them with information while simultaneously providing a fun activity. The activity uses resources that are already available, trees! Hudson has created a brochure for interested people to view the path of the trees and check off which trees they have seen along the way. Information posts located near the trees provide information about the particular species of tree, and a QR code for even more information.
Tree Treks can be very flexible and based on the communities needs and resources. Treks are meant to be a simple tool to engage the community with their trees, using resources the community already has. For more information on Tree Treks and how to develop your own please view the 2014 Green Report from the University of Minnesota and the Hudson Tree Trek website. Also, remember that the application period for Urban Forestry grants is still open, if you have an idea like this, or other ways to improve your community forest consider applying.
For more information contact Ellen Clark (EllenA.Clark@Wisconsin.gov), Urban Forestry Communication Specialist, at 608-267-2774.