The 2023 Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry/Wisconsin Arborist Association (WAA) Annual Conference, “Back on Track in Titletown!” was held in Green Bay on Feb. 19-21, 2023. Conference attendees gathered to network, learn and discuss important concepts in urban forest management and practices in arboriculture.
The conference hosted approximately 890 community foresters and administrators, professional arborists, green industry professionals, nonprofit staff and students. We didn’t quite beat our record of 922 attendees, but we came very close!
DNR staff and the WAA developed a program designed to enrich arboriculture and urban forestry knowledge in the industry statewide. This year, presentations included but were not limited to:
- Wisconsin Trees and the Law
- Advance Your Urban Forest by Improving Work Specifications and Contracts
- Physical Traits of Urban Trees and Stormwater Mitigation: Let’s Explore the Linkages
- National Models to Grow an Inclusive Workforce
- Transplanting Large Trees Bareroot
- Tree Water Use and Sap Flow
- Climate Change and Drought: Approaches to Tree Selection
There was a broad selection of booths in this year’s Exhibit Hall, which featured the Climbers’ Corner and Practical Arborist Solution Sessions. Continuing Education Units and Certified Treecare Safety Professional credits were available for qualifying presentations.
There were plenty of opportunities for networking and socializing, with the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council hosting an enjoyable session of ArborMaster Trivia during the first evening. The following morning, Heather Berklund, DNR Chief State Forester, provided a welcome address to participants, emphasizing the strong partnership between the DNR and the WAA and the entire urban forestry community. The event’s final day included the annual awards ceremony, a joint celebration shared by the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council and the WAA awards program.
The conference is a premier event for regional and Wisconsin industry professionals to see the latest arborist gear, nursery equipment, tree inventory systems and expand their arboriculture knowledge. DNR Urban Forestry staff were again active participants in this year’s conference, from serving on the planning team, giving presentations, serving as session moderators and assisting with publicity.