City Trees

January/February 2017

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12 City Trees Congrats to Palo Alto Urban Forester Walter Passmore, who shepherded the City's pro- gram to SMA Accreditation, and to all the staff of the Palo Alto Urban Forestry department, most of whom are ISA Certified Arborists. Can you tell us about your educational and career background leading to your current position? Walter Passmore: I received a bachelor's degree in natu- ral resources management from California Polytechnic State University and then later a master of public administration degree from California State University at Dominguez Hills. My professional career started with the US Forest Service first on the Sierra National Forest and then with the Southern Forest Experiment Station - Forest Inventory and Analysis. I next worked for the Mississippi Forestry Commission progressing to a senior administrative role which included coordinating the state's urban forestry program. I then tran - sitioned to municipal government as the first city forester for Dallas, Texas. Following Dallas, I served as the urban forester for Austin, Texas. At present I am the urban forester for the City of Palo Alto, California. How do you feel SMA Accreditation benefits your community and your program? WP: SMA Accreditation is an industry-recognized extensive audit of an urban forestry program. The result of accreditation is to validate the professionalism of the municipal program while also improving public image. Elected officials and part- ner groups appreciate the value of third party evaluation, thus accreditation represents a prominent level of success. What publicity did or will you receive from the local press? WP: Publicity to date has come from local nonprofit part- ner Canopy in their September 2016 electronic newsletter. Additional publicity will follow the presentation of the accredi- tation award to City Council. Palo Alto, California Earns SMA Accreditation Photos Courtesy City of Palo Alto except where noted Palo Alto's extensive canopy cover (right) Arborist Robert Booty conducted root mapping of the El Palo Alto Redwood using ground penetrating radar, an inno- vative non-invasive technology for assessment of tree roots and internal wood. Photo Courtesy Robert Booty

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