Partners

Join Virtual Q&A Sessions With DNR Experts

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Urban Forestry program will have a virtual booth at the 2021 WAA/DNR Urban Forestry Annual Conference, Feb. 21-23, 2021. Our virtual booth will feature a new video on our grant program and live group Q&A sessions with our grant and forest health specialists.

A virtual booth could be described as a hybrid between a Zoom call and a website, with some additional features. If you’re attending the annual conference, you’ll have the opportunity to stop by our virtual booth, just as you would at an in-person meeting. Staff will be available to answer questions at set times, and there will be resources available to view and download.

A new video on our DNR Urban Forestry Grant program will be available to view in the booth throughout the conference. Created by DNR Finance Specialist Nicolle Spafford and DNR Grant Manager Chase O’Brien, the video will show you the program’s basics and inspire you to start projects of your own while seeing some successful programs across the state.

Join One Of These Live Q&A Sessions At Our Virtual Booth

Continue reading “Join Virtual Q&A Sessions With DNR Experts”

Campaigning For Trees Pays Off

In recent years, Cedarburg’s urban forest was declining. From 2017-2019, less than one-third of removed trees were replaced. “Development, storms, insects (especially emerald ash borer), and disease have reduced the City’s tree canopy by as much as 300 trees… trees which, at present, are not being replaced,” said Kevin Westphal, Cedarburg parks and forestry superintendent, in January 2020.

With the help of a 2020 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Urban Forestry grant, the non-profit Cedarburg Green stepped in to help reverse the decline. Over the past year, Cedarburg Green held a remarkable public awareness campaign that included a tree sale, tree plantings, lectures, an art and writing contest, tree tags promoting the benefits of street trees, a guided tree walk, a display at the local library, an appearance on a radio talk show and more. “The goal of this program is to have more tree-educated decision-makers, residents and future homeowners (our children),” said Jeanne Mueller, Cedarburg Green volunteer and grant-writer.

The fruits of their labor proliferated. This past November, a newspaper article headline listed forestry as one of Cedarburg’s 2021 budget priorities, which includes $30,000 for tree planting and $50,000 for stump grinding.

Continue reading “Campaigning For Trees Pays Off”

Gays Mills, Wisconsin Recognized As Smallest Growth Award Community In The U.S.

Congratulations, Gays Mills! The village with a population of 502 was recognized in a recent Tree City USA (TCUSA) bulletin for being our nation’s smallest current TCUSA Growth Award community.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, “the Tree City USA Growth Award program is an innovative way to encourage communities of all sizes to — as the name implies — grow their tree care programs beyond basic expectations.” Points are awarded to communities who take part in a variety of activities in five categories: A) building the team, B) measuring trees and forests, C) planning the work, D) performing the work and E) the community framework.

In 2019, 341 communities earned a Growth Award in the U.S., including 17 in Wisconsin: Gays Mills, Grand Chute, Greenfield, Janesville, La Crosse, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Oconomowoc, Racine, River Falls, Shawano, Sheboygan, Shorewood, Slinger, Watertown, Waukesha and West Allis.

For an example of this point system, Gays Mills documented the following projects in categories B and D in its application for a 2020 Growth Award:

Continue reading “Gays Mills, Wisconsin Recognized As Smallest Growth Award Community In The U.S.”

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:

Continue reading “Register Now For The WAA/DNR Annual Urban Forestry Conference”

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

Continue reading “Staff Highlights of 2020”

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. 

Continue reading “Apprenticeship and the Future Workforce”

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.

Continue reading “Survey Of Funding Sources For Municipal Forestry Programs”