Urban Forestry News

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.

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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.”

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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?”

Upcoming Changes To Three Urban Forestry Regions

The boundaries of the Northeast, East Central and North Central DNR Urban Forestry regions will be altered at the end of April to balance workload across the regions better. The changes are:

  • Winnebago, Fond du Lac and Green Lake counties are moving from the Northeast to the East Central region.
  • Waushara and Marquette counties are moving from the Northeast to the North Central region.
  • Forest and Florence counties are moving from the North Central to the Northeast region.

The map included below reflects these changes and will be available on the Urban Forestry Contacts webpage after the changes take effect.

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Make The Most Of Arbor Day On April 26!

The first Arbor Day celebration was held in Nebraska in 1872. More than 150 years later, Arbor Day is celebrated in all 50 states and in many countries around the world. This year, Arbor Day will be observed in Wisconsin on Friday, April 26. Below are ways you can celebrate, educate and care for trees in your community.


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Celebrate Arbor Day Using Social Media (See Our Suggested Posts Below)

For the last few years, our urban forestry team has been writing social media posts for Wisconsin communities to post during Arbor Week. We encourage you to use social media to celebrate the many benefits of trees and inform the public about the importance of tree care.

Feel free to use the suggested messages provided below or develop your own create tree campaign.

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A Taste Of Tree City USA In Wisconsin

Started in 1976, Tree City USA is one of the Arbor Day Foundation’s oldest programs. The founders had a vision for a greener, healthier America and hoped this initiative would inspire change on a nationwide level. The first Tree City USA cohort was comprised of 42 communities in 16 states. Today, the program includes more than 3,600 communities from all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Publicly demonstrating commitment to the environment is a great way to build pride among residents, as well as position your community as an attractive place to live. The Tree City USA program provides communities with a four-step framework to maintain and grow their tree cover. It also gives them an avenue to celebrate their work, showing residents, visitors and the entire country that they’re committed to the mission of environmental change.

Here are just a few examples of the 193 Tree Cities in Wisconsin.

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