Partners

Partners in Community Forestry Virtual Conference

Sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, the Partners in Community Forestry Conference is the largest international gathering of urban forestry practitioners, advocates, researchers, and government leaders. The virtual format this year provides an excellent opportunity to attend this leading conference so easily and inexpensively.

The conference will be held on Wednesday, November 18th. The $45 registration fee also covers events and meetings the entire week of November 17th-20th, including Alliance for Community Trees Day, Urban Woods Network Meeting, and Natural Areas Conservancy Meeting. CEUs will be available.

To learn more and to register, click here.

Wisconsin nonprofit plants 371 trees with GLRI grant funding

By Abe Lenoch, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin

1000 Friends of Wisconsin was awarded a U.S. Forest Service Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant to plant 350 trees across four Green Tier Legacy Communities (GTLC) in 2018. The GLRI grant program, through USFS, intends to improve Great Lakes water quality by restoring, protecting, and maintaining Great Lakes ecosystems. 1000 Friends partnered with four GTLC’s Ashland, Bayside, Oshkosh and Sheboygan and the Wisconsin DNR Urban Forests Program.

During the 2019 and 2020 growing seasons a total of 371 trees were planted. Each community bought and planted the trees, followed by an in-kind inspection from the DNR’s Urban Forest Regional Coordinator covering the respective GTLC’s. The increase in urban forest canopy helps to avoid roughly 21,889 gallons of stormwater runoff across all four GTLC’s. The trees were all planted on public property, mostly in right-of-ways, but the City of Ashland gave their trees a lakeside view and put them on the front lines of water quality defense by planting 34 trees in Bayview Park.

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Tree Tags Tout Value

By Jeanne Mueller, Cedarburg Green

“We have 6,715 street trees as of July 2020,” reported Kevin Westphal, Cedarburg Forester. “Totaling 70,000 diameter inches, the appraised value of Cedarburg’s street trees, based on CPI, is $10.5 million,” he continued. 

Since January, when Mayor O’Keefe declared 2020 the year to focus on trees, Cedarburg Green, with the help of a grant from the Wisconsin DNR, has been actively promoting trees and tree care throughout Cedarburg. With the hope of attracting attention to the City’s trees, Cedarburg Green attached price tags to a number of trees along Washington Avenue. “Trees are more than municipal objects,” said Jeanne Mueller, Cedarburg Green volunteer, “our main goals are to provide people with a sense of a tree’s economic value as well as show the many other benefits a tree provides.”

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Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council welcomes five new members

By Sara Minkoff, DNR Urban Forestry Council liaison

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council is an advisory committee to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry, providing guidance on the best ways to preserve, protect, expand and improve Wisconsin’s urban and community forest resources. Currently comprised of 27 people appointed by the Secretary of the WDNR, members represent the diverse groups and interests that impact our state’s urban and community forests, including representatives from professional organizations, private business owners, educators, green industry employees, nonprofit/service organizations, governmental agencies, municipalities of various sizes, utilities, concerned and active citizens and trade organizations throughout the state. The Council addresses strategies to help the WDNR implement, monitor, and revise the state’s urban forestry initiatives and to lend support to activities that further the understanding, appreciation and practice of urban forestry in Wisconsin. Members strive to aid all entities involved in urban forestry matters and to help coordinate activities to avoid duplication, inefficiency and conflict.

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Wisconsin Urban Wood and the City of Marshfield partner on an urban wood use agreement

Wisconsin Urban Wood (WUW) and the City of Marshfield have joined efforts in a “Use Agreement” that serves as the conduit between the city’s logs and WUW’s sawmill and woodworker partners in the area. Through the use agreement, WUW members are granted access to the city’s marshalling yard to recover and remove city logs. The use agreement reduces disposal costs and the wood finds its way back into the community in beautiful ways.

Every year thousands of trees are removed from Wisconsin’s streets, backyards, parks and other green spaces due to storms, construction, disease or insects such as the Emerald Ash Borer. This process costs money and time for municipalities while bringing little value back to the community. Much of this removed urban wood is suitable for lumber, flooring, furniture, art, architectural design and household goods. By establishing this urban wood use agreement, Marshfield can utilize this local, sustainable and renewable resource to boost the local economy and reduce community expenses.

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WDNR/WAA Conference attracts record number of attendees

By Sara Minkoff, DNR urban forestry specialist, Madison, Sara.Minkoff@wisconsin.gov, 608-669-5447; and Kim Sebastian, DNR urban forestry coordinator, Milwaukee, Kim.Sebastian@wisconsin.gov, 414-294-8675

The 2020 Annual Statewide WDNR/Wisconsin Arborist Association (WAA) Urban Forestry Conference, “Sustaining Urban Forests to Ensure a Healthy Future,” set another attendance record this past February 16-18 in Green Bay.

The 885 attendees included community foresters and administrators, professional arborists, green industry professionals, nonprofit staff, and students, who gathered to network, learn and discuss important concepts in urban forest management and practices in arboriculture.

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Nominations Open For “Invader Crusader” Awards

By Tara Bergeson, DNR invasive species team leader, 608-264-6043, Tara.Bergeson@wisconsin.gov

Nominations are being accepted through March 23, 2020 for “Invader Crusaders.” These awards go to individuals, groups and organizations who made outstanding contributions in 2019 to prevent, control or eradicate invasive species that harm Wisconsin’s native wildlife and wetlands, forests, prairies, lakes and rivers.

The Wisconsin Invasive Species Council is seeking nominations for exemplary efforts at addressing issues surrounding terrestrial and aquatic invasive plants and animals. The awards will be presented in both volunteer and professional categories.

To submit a nomination, download and fill out a nomination form available on the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council’s Invader Crusader webpage. Email the completed form to invasive.species@wisconsin.gov by March 23.

A panel of Wisconsin Invasive Species Council members will review the nomination materials and select the award winners. All nominators and winners will be notified by mid-May 2020.

Recipients of the awards will be recognized at an awards ceremony on June 11 at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison.

Invasive species are nonnative plants and animals that cause great ecological, environmental or economic harm, and some can even affect human health. Once an invasive species becomes established in an area, it can be difficult to control. The most important action Wisconsinites should take is to avoid moving invasive species or the materials that might harbor them to new places.

To learn more about what you can do to stop the spread of invasive species, visit the DNR invasive species webpage.

Trees for all: Madison nonprofit serves multi-family residences

Over the years, the Urban Tree Alliance (UTA), a Madison-based nonprofit, has launched several innovative programs that promote environmental equity. The first of these programs, the Madison Canopy Project, continues to offer free trees to homeowners in selected low-income, low-canopy neighborhoods. Initially funded with the assistance of DNR Urban Forestry Grants, the program now has other funding sources and is kicking off its seventh year.

UTA’s newest program, the Housing Partnerships Program, provides tree planting and technical tree assessment services for multi-family residential properties. UTA received 2019 and 2020 DNR Urban Forestry grants to implement and expand this program.

Why the focus on multi-family residences, you may ask? “Through our work in Madison neighborhoods, we have regularly encountered unmet opportunities for tree planting at thousands of multi-family properties,” explains Jeremy Kane, Director of UTA.

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Arbor Day Foundation launches three new recognition programs

Now more than ever, trees and forests are a vital component of healthy, livable, and sustainable communities, in the U.S. and around the globe. Along with its partners such as the Wisconsin DNR, the Arbor Day Foundation is seeking ways to link together those that plant and tend urban trees and forests for the benefit of humankind.

In 2019, the Foundation launched three new recognition programs to appeal to three different audiences, three different owners and managers of urban greenspace:

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Staff highlights of 2019

As the year draws to a close, we asked DNR urban forestry staff to reflect on the last twelve months and choose their top highlight – whether it’s a project they’re especially proud of, a new partnership, or a deeper relationship with coworkers. Here are their responses:

“My highlight of the year was working with park staff and 45 volunteers from Johnson Controls to plant 170 trees at Havenwoods State Forest.”  -Dan Buckler, Urban Forestry Assessment Outreach Specialist

“I enjoyed watching Barron, Wisconsin with a bare bones tree program attain Tree City USA for the first time and quickly start growing their community forestry program. In the same year (2019), they did a tree inventory and urban forest management plan. They also experienced a violent windstorm which encouraged them to apply for and receive a catastrophic storm grant, as well as reinventory their damaged forest. Finally, they were awarded a start-up grant to begin to operationalize portions of their new forest management plan. This all happened in 2019 with grants and assistance from the DNR Urban Forestry Program.”  -Brad Johnson, West Regional Urban Forestry Coordinator

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