Partners

Register Now For The WAA/DNR Annual Urban Forestry Conference

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Wisconsin Arborist Association will virtually host the Wisconsin Annual Urban Forestry Conference on Feb. 21-23, 2021. Please join us for three days of exhibits, expert presentations and networking events and opportunities.

The program was developed to enrich arboriculture and urban forestry knowledge in the industry. The conference includes a utility track, a climbers’ corner, a virtual exhibit hall, and networking and socializing opportunities.

This year, presentations include:

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Tree City USA Virtual Conference

Connect, collaborate and learn from Tree City USA communities about ways to engage, grow and innovate your urban forestry program. This first-of-its-kind event will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 10, 17 and 24.

The registration fee is $30 and includes:

  • All content associated with the Tree City USA Conference
  • Online networking capabilities through the conference platform
  • Opportunity to engage with speakers and fellow attendees
  • Access to all conference content, networking channels and attendee/speaker engagement for six months after the conference

Learn more about the conference and register here.

Staff Highlights of 2020

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:

“The highlight of my year has been watching the partners we support achieve lasting impacts via their Urban Forestry projects. Two immediately come to mind. Restoration Of Our Trees Sheboygan (ROOTS) kicked off their EAB Mitigation Grant Program by funding five separate projects in Sheboygan County communities for a total project value of $165,500. The other is Cedarburg Green who instituted a public awareness campaign to encourage community leaders to refund the city’s tree planting budget. Their campaign consisted of a common council presentation, an educational workshop and tree sale for residents, Arbor Day plantings, student art and writing contests, tree benefit tags, multiple news articles and a “Trees of Distinction” booklet, video and walking tour.”  -Olivia Witthun, East Central Regional Urban Forestry Coordinator

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Apprenticeship and the Future Workforce

By August Hoppe, President of Hoppe Tree Service and Chair of the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council

Workforce shortages and the training of new employees is not a new problem for the arboricultural industry. Meeting minutes from a National Arborist Association meeting from 70 years ago frame the issue in the same fashion as we do today. It is hard to find skilled workers for positions and retaining workers can be an even bigger challenge for many organizations, even during a pandemic.

Formal apprenticeship is a tool that other skilled trades have been using successfully for many years to recruit, train and retain their valuable employees. We are entering an exciting time within our industry as more and more employers turn to the Arborist Apprenticeship program to fulfill the needs of their workforce. 

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Arborist Apprenticeship Webinar Aimed at Wisconsin Municipalities

The Wisconsin Arborist Apprenticeship Program is a growing way for municipalities and tree care companies to train their workforce. Learn about the program and its flexibility to fit your organization.

This presentation will be hosted by City of Milwaukee Forestry Services Manager Randy Krouse along with a panel of apprenticeship instructors, public employees and Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Representatives.  

The webinar will be held on Zoom on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 3 pm.

Register in advance for the webinar using this link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7ASg4RyeRv6jhmXK2aIcHA

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

2020-2021 Virtual Certified Arborist Study Group

This winter, the Wisconsin Arborist Association is offering a virtual study group for the Arborist Certification exam. Beginning Dec. 1 and running through Feb. 9, the course meets every Tuesday evening from 6:30-9 pm. The exam takes place on Feb. 16 (register separately with ISA).

The full workshop costs $225 for WAA members ($270 for non-members) and a single session costs $35 for members. Additional costs may be necessary for study materials.

The registration deadline for the full course is Dec. 14. at 4 p.m.

For more information and to register, please visit https://www.waa-isa.org/event/2020-2021-virtual-certified-arborist-study-group/2020-12-15/.

Survey Of Funding Sources For Municipal Forestry Programs

By Curt Witynski, Deputy Executive Director, League of Wisconsin Municipalities

The League of Wisconsin Municipalities and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Urban Forestry Team surveyed municipalities in September and October of 2020 to learn more about how cities and villages pay for their forestry programs and activities.

Many municipalities are struggling to continue to provide the same number and quality of services as they have in the past while operating under the strictest levy limits in the nation and experiencing reductions in shared revenue and other state aids. We wanted to learn about any alternative sources of revenue municipalities might be using to help pay for the annual cost of providing forestry services.

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ROOTS Kicks Off Collaborative Tree Planting Projects

City of Sheboygan. Photo credit: Restoration of our Trees Sheboygan

In the past two months, Restoration of our Trees Sheboygan (ROOTS) celebrated the kickoff of five private-public sector emerald ash borer (EAB) mitigation projects in four communities throughout Sheboygan County, resulting in the safe removal of hundreds of dead ash trees and their accelerated replacement in public parks and on public thoroughfares.

These projects are underway in the City of Sheboygan, the City of Plymouth, the City of Sheboygan Falls, and the Village of Elkhart Lake. Each of these communities was awarded grant funding by the ROOTS Community Investment Fund. It initiated its first round of awards earlier this year through its executive agent, the Sheboygan County Rotary Foundation.

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First Downs For Trees Celebrates 10 Years

2016 First Downs for Trees

On Oct. 26, the First Downs for Trees program celebrated its 10th year by distributing 428 trees to 16 Brown County communities for planting. First Downs for Trees is a cooperative effort between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and corporate sponsors Essity and Green Bay Packaging, Inc. The program donates trees to participating communities based on the number of first downs in the previous season.

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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.