City Trees

May/June 2016

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!

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Page 11 of 39

12 City Trees Sometimes it seems the whole world is excited about city trees. Million Tree initiatives and enthusiastic grass- roots groups are in the news, green infrastructure solutions are increasingly mainstream, and even the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. federal pub- lic health agency, has recognized the contribution of vegetation to human health through their Healthy Community Design Initiative. Yet university programs in urban forest- ry have low enrollment, urban foresters have to work hard to build understand- ing and respect for their profession within city government, funding is stag- nant or declining at the federal level, and many urban foresters face uncer- tain career advancement prospects—all while urban tree canopy continues to decline. Is the future rosy for urban foresters, or is it dire? At the root of this question is a host of issues relating to public percep- tion, professional practice, education- al opportunities, and even research support for the profession of urban forestry. What will urban forestry look like when we emerge from the rapid demographic and environmental shifts that are underway in our cities? Who will be practicing urban forestry and where? How will they be educated and how much influence will they have on urban environments? Where will new knowledge come from? How will deci - sion-makers recognize urban forestry expertise? The answer to these and Urban Forestry 2020: Formulating a Strategy for our Emerging Profession by Susan D. Day and Gregory A. Dahle One of the ways the SMA has shaped the field of urban forestry is through the annual Municipal Forestry Institute. Photo by Paul Ries many other questions will shape the urban forests of tomorrow. EEEE Urban Forestry 2020 is a multi- year collaborative project to analyze the status of the urban forestry profession in the United States and recommend strategies for moving it forward. This research and networking project, par- tially funded by a U.S. Forest Service grant through the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC), brings together research- ers from Virginia Tech, West Virginia University, University of Maryland, and Virginia State University to carry out a multi-faceted strategic assessment.

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