City Trees

January/February 2013

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Reflections from the 2012 Class of SMA Interns T he SMA Municipal Forestry Internship participants; in 2012 there were ten! If you are Program (MFI-P), launched in 2011, serves interested in being an intern or hosting one undergraduate college students interested in a career in municipal arboriculture. Interns are provided hands-on experience alongside practicing professionals who serve as mentors over the internship period. in the future, please visit the SMA website at www.urban-forestry.com. Here are some reflections from some of last summer's interns. They and others gave a terrific suite of mini-presentations at the SMA In 2011 SMA's first internship class had five Conference in Sacramento. Johanna Arredondo (Virginia Tech) I started on my journey at Virginia Tech two years ago as a natural resources conservation major; since then, I've discovered an additional passion and added urban forestry as a second major. The more I learn about trees the more I love working, learning, and sharing my love with others. This summer I had the pleasure of interning in Bonita Springs, Florida with Senior Environmental Specialist Michael Kirby in the Community Development department. I got to take part in the process of urban planning and policy as it relates to the urban forest. I spent the majority of my time there working on a project called the Corridor Landscape Restoration Program, one that encompassed just about every learning goal the internship outlined for us to experience. The vision for this project was ultimately the re-planting and maintenance of the city's urban forest where it matters most: the two main roadways into the city, the face and first impression of the city. For my project I had the pleasure to learn about and intimately work with the Bonita Springs landscape code; a document that I soon considered my bible and reference for just about any question I had about the city's urban forest. One important aspect 36 Johanna Arredondo with "sabal palms" of my project was problem-solving in the field. While performing many landscape inspections, we often found many things about the site had changed, or the plan was so old and outdated that what was originally specified no longer made sense. Other times we found property owners had decided to do things in their own special way. On one inspection, we got to the site and where four sabal palms were supposed to be, there stood four different colored plastic palm trees, complete with light up coconuts. Another very important part of my project was interacting with the public and city officials. I realized that education and understanding about the importance of the urban forest is essential to its longevity and support. Communicating this to a lessthan-receptive public is a lot harder than I ever thought it would be. This internship was a very important learning experience toward my ultimate goal of working in a job that allows me to promote the long-term conservation of our natural resources, both by fostering an appreciation and understanding in the general public and through direct management. City Trees

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