Posted by Christina Greene on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 @ 10:36 PM
Community Stewardship of Urban Forest Futures:
Much focus is given to new city-scale projects to enhance and develop urban forestry, and utilize the most cutting edge designs in green infrastructure. Though the benefits reaped by the inhabitants and community members are often noted, there is a large opportunity to support what infrastructure has begun, and this opportunity starts at the individual level.
What needs to be developed just as much as the re-designing of past urban forestry projects is the sense of stewardship and personal ownership of the local forestry and environment we each inhabit.
Lindsay K Campbell, a research social scientist with the USDA Forest Service, recently stated in a personal blog, “How can we cultivate attachment and stewardship but also allow attachment to inform management, decision-making, and priority-setting? What would it look like to grow a forest that is rooted in these community relations all along the way?”
With this personal ownership, comes the challenge of finding ways to expand on what is presently placed into two categories: sparse individual experiences, like caring for the forestry outside an individual’s apartment, and far-reaching, but finite community volunteer events, usually lasting a day or weekend at most.
What happens after those trees or gardens are planted?
A beginning solution is the creation, participation, and effective momentum of local “greening communities”, as put by the Arbor Day Foundation.
Tree City USA is a framework created and monitored by the Arbor Day Foundation, which has created a framework for action from which communities can establish community forestry management.In order to achieve and maintain active status, these cities must be, “maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.”
The result as of 2015 is over 3,400 communities, and 135 million Americans living in these stewarded areas. With effective framework, education, and a sense of pride and ownership, successful urban landscapes are looking forward to a green, well cared for future in conjunction with the advancement in design and infrastructure provided by the governing and civic bodies.