City Trees

September/October 2019

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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SMA Member Athena Beshur's Santa Fe, New Mexico-based landscape firm, Seeds of Wisdom LLC, has increasingly focused on the role of trees and shrubs in the semi-arid urban environ- ment. At the same time, Beshur has completed an Oregon State University (OSU) Graduate Certificate in Urban Forestry and Master's Degree in Natural Resources through its Ecampus. "I had been looking for the right graduate degree program for several years," she says. "I was looking for a discipline that united botany, urban centers, people, design, and trees. However, I owned my small landscape firm and couldn't afford to close the doors to go to school. I found Oregon State's highly regarded online urban forestry program, which made my education financially possible," she says. Beshur's work project sites became her field study sites, and her urban forestry capstone project was a documentation of an i-Tree Eco- based inventory and analysis of trees in Santa Fe, which was submitted to the City in 2017. It was conducted in partnership with the City, Santa Fe Extension Master Gardeners, and the Santa Fe Municipal Tree Board, on which she served. "We recognized the need to have a core group of volunteers for the inventory project," she says. The Master Gardeners were game to be partners. "It has been an organic style process," Beshur says. "Originally we were just going to get a first round of data to show value for a paid project, but with a committed group of volunteers and the exponen- tial value of a citizen-driven inventory, we have just kept on going." The Santa Fe Public Spaces Tree Inventory project webpage can be seen here. John Muñoz is City of Santa Fe Parks and Recreation Director. "Athena, Municipal Tree Board Chair Katherine O'Brien and the Board as a whole, the Master Gardeners, and other volunteer groups have been amazing and have pushed forward more mindful urban forestry planning in our City," he says. Muñoz says that the inventory project was initiated by the Municipal Tree Board under the leadership of Katherine O'Brien to determine the quantity and con- dition of trees in Santa Fe's public areas. "Athena was then instrumental and relentless in the group's quest to obtain the Tree Plotter platform, which allows for information to be available instantly and provides an overall view of our urban forest," Muñoz says. "The group continues their work and by the end of this year, a quarter of the City's parks will have been inventoried." Eventually, they would like to inven- tory the trees in all 923 acres (374 ha) of City parks. Muñoz regards the inventory data as critical and important as new personnel join the City and as existing personnel help forge strategy to promote the health and vitality of trees in this semi-arid environment. "Sharing the value and training end- users will be our focus and next steps," he says. Santa Fe Partnerships Fuel a Young Urban Forestry Program With contributions from Athena Beshur, Guy Meilleur, Michelle Sutton, and John Muñoz 12 CityTREES

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