Month: May 2024

Register Now For May 15 Webinar On Inflation Reduction Act Grants And Community Engagement

children playing in parkThe Urban Forestry Inflation Reduction Act grant program uses federal funds to support projects that positively impact trees and people within disadvantaged communities in Wisconsin.

Cities, villages, towns, counties, tribes and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations conducting their projects in Wisconsin may apply for an Urban Forestry Inflation Reduction grant. Eligible projects must occur in or benefit those living in disadvantaged communities. To learn if your community is eligible, check the DNR’s map of identified communities, also available formatted as a list. Applications are due June 3, 2024.

DNR staff will host another webinar on May 15 on the Urban Forestry Inflation Reduction Act grant application process and allow time for questions and answers. This webinar will begin with a presentation by UW Extension staff on ways to engage with your community through urban forestry. See the links below to access recordings of previous webinars and register for the May 15 webinar.

      • If you have attended a previous IRA webinar, you are encouraged to register for this session as well, which will include new information on community engagement.

For more information, visit the Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry webpage.

Continue reading “Register Now For May 15 Webinar On Inflation Reduction Act Grants And Community Engagement”

10 Easy Ways To Engage Your Community In Urban Forestry

  1. Partner with community groups such as 4-H, Scouts, rotary clubs and neighborhood associations to plant and care for trees.
  2. Set up informational tables at community events and farmers markets to recruit volunteers, educate residents and conduct surveys.
  3. Host workshops to teach community members about urban forestry and tree care.
  4. Post resources or hold a Q&A on social media.
  5. Conduct surveys to determine which tree species residents would like to see in their community.
  6. Cohost events with other departments or organizations with similar goals.
  7. Connect with environmental science classes in your school district to provide hands-on education activities.
  8. Post educational signs with QR codes that link to more information where urban forestry work is being done.
  9. Knock on residents’ doors to explain in person or with a flyer what you will be doing before starting tree work in the vicinity of their homes.
  10. For even more ideas, watch the Arbor Day Foundation’s recorded webinar, “How to Collaborate and Engage More Equitably in Your Tree City.”

Continue reading “10 Easy Ways To Engage Your Community In Urban Forestry”

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month, But Trees Provide Benefits All Year Long

Over the years, a growing body of research has proven that regular access to trees makes us happier and healthier. They restore our sense of calm from head to toe — improving memory and attention span, enhancing cognitive functioning, lowering blood pressure, and reducing cortisol levels.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, here are just a few ways trees can support your mental well-being. Continue reading “May Is Mental Health Awareness Month, But Trees Provide Benefits All Year Long”

Spring Invasive Plant Management Workshop

Many residents and land managers in southeastern Wisconsin search for effective and efficient practices to control exotic invasive plants in our natural areas. The Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium is teaming up again with Johnson’s Nursery to offer Invasive Plant Management Workshops in 2024.

Take this class to ensure that you are using the most appropriate, efficient, up-to-date and least environmentally damaging methods in those efforts. Continue reading “Spring Invasive Plant Management Workshop”

Botanical Sexism: Fact Or Fiction?

pink tree flowers

Photo Credit: Delisa White

By Elton Rogers, Urban Forestry Coordinator

The DNR was recently contacted by a local news station to comment on a theory that tends to pop up alongside the tulips every spring: “botanical sexism,” a theory attributed to horticulturist Tom Ogren.

As a theory, botanical sexism is rather simple. It states that over time, humans have preferentially propagated and planted male trees, thus leading to increases in pollen production and subsequent allergens in our cities. The hypothesis is simple, and the term is catchy, so it is no surprise that it has made its way into the world of social media, having gone viral on several platforms over the last few years. The question remains, however, whether this concept is indeed factual. Continue reading “Botanical Sexism: Fact Or Fiction?”

Wisconsin Expands Trillion Trees Pledge

By Carmen Hardin, DNR Applied Forestry Bureau Director;

Photo of seed cleaning equipment at Hayward State Nursery

Existing seed cleaning equipment at Hayward State Nursery is scheduled for an update.

Landowners across the state have stepped up in a big way when it comes to planting trees.

At the end of 2023, more than 32 million trees had been planted and tallied as part of Wisconsin’s Trillion Trees Pledge. The program started in 2021 when Governor Tony Evers committed the state to planting 75 million trees and conserving 125,000 acres of forestland by 2030. Continue reading “Wisconsin Expands Trillion Trees Pledge”

Avoid Hitchhikers This Summer

By Erika Segerson-Mueller, DNR invasive plant program specialist, Oshkosh or 715-492-0391

Invasive jumping worms have a light-colored clitellum, while most worm species have a raised, pink clitellum. / Photo Credit: Brad Herrick, UW-Madison Arboretum

To reiterate some advice you may have heard long ago from your parents: Don’t give rides to hitchhikers. They may have been thinking about people, but hitchhiking invasive plants, insects and pathogens are also worthy of concern.

As you dream of days spent at the cabin up north, planting your garden or wandering in the woods, here are a few reminders to help you avoid bringing hitchhiking invasives along as you enjoy your spring and summer activities. Continue reading “Avoid Hitchhikers This Summer”

Spongy Moth Resource Center Hatches Just In Time

By Art Kabelowsky, DNR forest health communications and outreach specialist, Fitchburg or 608-335-0167

A screenshot of the mock-up of the new Spongy Moth Resource CenterAs Wisconsin braces for another potentially busy season of spongy moth caterpillars, three state agencies have teamed up to make it easier for tree owners and others to access the latest information and advice on the invasive, leaf-chomping pests.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has joined the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension to revamp the state’s interagency spongy moth information webpage.

Renamed the “Spongy Moth Resource Center,” a first glance at the document reveals basic information on the insect. But by following a new list of “Frequently Asked Questions,” visitors can tunnel deeper to more easily find information that applies specifically to their situation.

Continue reading “Spongy Moth Resource Center Hatches Just In Time”

Emerald Ash Borer Detected In Washburn, Taylor Counties

By Paul Cigan, DNR forest health specialist, Hayward; or 715-634-9232

Photo of an emerald ash borer on a tree

The emerald ash borer was detected in the Wisconsin counties of Taylor and Washburn in April, making them No. 70 and No. 71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties that have confirmed presence of the invasive insect.

The emerald ash borer (EAB) has been detected for the first time in Washburn and Taylor counties, making them the No. 70 and No. 71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties to have a confirmed detection of the invasive insect.

Here are the details of the most recent discoveries: Continue reading “Emerald Ash Borer Detected In Washburn, Taylor Counties”