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.

Continue reading “Trees for all: Madison nonprofit serves multi-family residences”

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:

Continue reading “Arbor Day Foundation launches three new recognition programs”

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

Continue reading “Staff highlights of 2019”

Save the date for the WAA/DNR Annual Urban Forestry Conference

The Wisconsin Arborist Association (WAA) teams up with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to present the WAA/DNR Annual Urban Forestry Conference, Sustaining Urban Forests to Ensure a Healthy Future.

Dates: February 16-18, 2020

Location: Hyatt on Main & KI Convention Center, 333 Main Street, Green Bay, WI 54301




This three-day conference is intended for professional arborists, community foresters, nursery professionals, park and recreation directors and staff, tree care workers, landscape architects, green industry professionals, community administrators, volunteers, and students to come together with top researchers and educators to learn the latest in research, innovations and industry developments.

Continue reading “Save the date for the WAA/DNR Annual Urban Forestry Conference”

Deadlines approaching for Tree City, Bird City, and Bee City applications

Act fast to keep your Tree City, Bird City, and Bee City status! Due dates are as follows:

  • Tree City USA (TCUSA) applications are due December 31st
  • Bird City Wisconsin renewal applications are due January 31st (new applications can be submitted anytime)
  • Bee City USA renewal applications are due February 28th (new applications can be submitted anytime)

These three programs are each managed by a different nonprofit, but they have a lot in common. In fact, a single project could be used to help meet all three programs’ requirements!

Continue reading “Deadlines approaching for Tree City, Bird City, and Bee City applications”

Indian Creek Woods – Ash removal and replanting

The Village of Fox Point has a 2.8 acre natural area called Indian Creek Woods (ICW).  Eighty percent of its trees were ash.  This natural area abuts a park, multiple backyards, a village road and has a walking trail going through it.  Safety is a main concern, especially with the ash trees beginning to decline from Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).  It was obvious the trees needed to be removed before they became dangerous to residents and the workers who would remove them.  The removal of all ash and undesirable box elder would result in a major visual change; over 80% of the canopy would be removed.  It was vital replanting was part of the effort.

A view of Indian Creek Woods before ash removal.

Bids for the removal of ash and boxelder (approximately 250 trees) were solicited in the fall of 2018.  Not only were the trees to be cut down, but the wood was to be removed from the site as well.  Three bids were received, with the lowest bidder being selected.  The work began in January 2019.  It took approximately two weeks for the contractor to finish the work.  They used tracked skid-steers with shears for most of the removals, while the largest diameter trees were felled after smaller surrounding trees had been removed.  Although most of the woods is on a ridge, the lowest area is quite wet during the summer.  By performing the work in the winter, this area froze sufficiently to allow access with the tracked equipment. 

Continue reading “Indian Creek Woods – Ash removal and replanting”

Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USDA Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), FedEx, Southern Company and BNSF Railway are pleased to solicit ap​plications for the 2020 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration program. The Five Star and Urban Waters program will award approximately $1.5 million in grants nationwide.

The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration grant program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships focused on improving water quality, watersheds and the species and habitats they support. 

Projects include a variety of ecological improvements along with targeted community outreach, education and stewardship. Ecological improvements may include one or more of the following: wetland, riparian, forest and coastal habitat restoration; wildlife conservation, community tree canopy enhancement, water quality monitoring and green infrastructure best management practices for managing run-off. Projects should also increase access to the benefits of nature, reduce the impact of environmental hazards and engage local communities, particularly underserved communities, in project planning, outreach and implementation.

Request for Proposals

Deadline: Thursday, January 30th, 2020

Webinar: November 21st, 2019, 2 p.m., ET| Register Here

Municipal Forestry Institute

The Municipal Forestry Institute (MFI) is a week-long, high-level training opportunity to educate people in the leadership and managerial aspects of urban forestry.  Urban forestry professionals from across the county will come together for a week-long intensive educational program that delivers a challenging opportunity to grow a more successful community tree program. Learn and master leadership and management tools of program administration, coalition building, strategic thinking, program planning and public relations.  MFI 2020 will be held February 23-28, 2020 in Gulf Shores, Alabama.  Applications are being accepted through December 1st.  For more information visit,

Chainsaw safety training

Chainsaw safety training will be held this fall at Riveredge Nature Center near Newburg, WI.

Join Safety and Woods Worker (SAWW) trainer Luke Saunders (forester with Adaptive Restoration LLC) for a hands-on training in chainsaw use, maintenance and technique. Spend time both outside and in the classroom practicing how to operate chainsaws safely, comfortably and productively.

Chainsaw and tree felling demonstration

There will be two training levels offered on different dates. Level 1 chainsaw training will be held November 5 and level 2 will be held on November 11. Please note that you must have completed level 1 before enrolling in level 2.

Please see below for more details and to register: