While tree inventories are often pursued by municipal governments and other entities intensively managing individual trees, they are not often conducted on school campuses. Fortunately, both for the students and the trees on school properties, this is starting to change.
The DNR Urban Forestry program and LEAF, Wisconsin’s K-12 forestry education program, are teaming up with teachers to conduct tree inventories on school grounds and have them displayed on the Wisconsin Community Tree Map, a compilation of tree inventories from around the state.
Tree inventories are used for many purposes: to assess tree benefits, schedule tree maintenance, identify health risks, identify planting locations and, of particular relevance to this project, for education.
Students work in groups to access the tree map via a smart phone and collect data related to the species, size, condition and location of the trees. Other resources are also made available from the DNR and LEAF, such as the new Wisconsin Urban Tree Key. As they work, students learn more about the trees and forest ecosystems around them, becoming more intimately familiar with the places and spaces in which they live.
Tree inventory workshops are available to train educators in using the Wisconsin Community Tree Map and in place-based learning for your school and students.
Workshops will be held in Oshkosh (November 6), Milwaukee (November 7), Black Rivers Falls (November 13) and Fitchburg (November 14). Educators can register for a session here.