City Trees

September/ October 2011

City Trees is a premier publication focused on urban + community forestry. In each issue, you’ll learn how to best manage the trees in your community and more!

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 8 of 39

SMA Accreditation is the high- est honor obtained by munici- pal urban forestry programs. John Houde has city forestry responsibili- ties for the Village of Glencoe, Illinois, whose program was accredited in October, 2009. Houde has used the accreditation to promote the value of his program to his colleagues and to Village residents. "First and foremost," he says, "accreditation gives our municipal forestry department a professional credential by a professional organization that demonstrates that we meet established professional standards. This is a badge of honor that we have publicized with the local news media." To apply for accreditation for your community or urban for- estry program, go to SMA's web- site,, and click on the accreditation link to obtain additional infor- mation and an application. Hartman says that the one item that sometimes alarms urban foresters is # 5, preference to TCIA-Accredited tree care companies, because municipalities generally have to accept the lowest bid. Standard #5 says that "Programs should show preference to TCIA Accredited tree care companies, or equivalent outside USA [if there is one], when private arborists are contracted. Applicants can describe how preference is designated in the master plan or equivalent document. At a mini- mum, the plan should designate TCIA Accreditation as a tiebreaker in awarding contracts." When applicant cities from countries outside the U.S. simply do not have an equivalent to a standard—TCIA Accreditation or Tree City USA status, for instance—that requirement can be waived. For questions on flexibility around other standards based on your program's par- ticular circumstances, please contact Hartman. ef Glencoe prominently displays the accreditation logo on the Village's website. Houde also suggests municipalities approach City managers or mayors about using the logo on the annual vehicle fee/tax sticker as well as on for- estry department vehicles and to include a notice in your community's monthly or quarterly resident newsletter. Urban foresters need such opportunities to toot their program's horn. Houde says, "With the regular contacts we have with our residents, we often get caught in our everyday work activities and lose sight of the great staff we really have. Accreditation gives our staff that pat-on-the-back that we don't get often enough from our clients. For individuals it also serves as a positive psy- chological boost when things sometimes get difficult." Houde also sees the accreditation program as a moti- vating force. "First it may be to achieve Tree City des- ignation; another for us and our staff was to become ISA Certified Arborists; then we went on to have one and then two Certified Municipal Specialists. Even with accreditation, we have not reached the end. We will have other future goals to achieve and challenges to keep us all on our toes." ef City of Atlanta Project Manager Ainsley Caldwell sees that motivating potential, too. "Being the first municipality in the state of Georgia to attain SMA Accreditation, we are repeatedly asked by colleagues what we had to do to obtain this accreditation. I dis- cuss briefly what is required and refer colleagues to the SMA website where they can obtain details on how to apply. To date, three colleagues from municipalities in Georgia have indicated that they will pursue program SMA Accreditation in the coming 12 months based on our conversations." Caldwell says that his division is recognized by the 9

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of City Trees - September/ October 2011