Vibrant Communities Open-Source Communications Toolkit Rolls Out

Washington, DC (July 18, 2013) – The Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition (SUFC) has rolled out their “Vibrant Communities: Trees Are the Key” communications platform and toolkit. This open-source, online suite of resources includes a “how-to” guide for spreading the message on the benefits of trees to communities and the Vibrant Cities recommendations. The tools were developed with input from ACTrees and other organizations as part of SUFC’s Vibrant Cities & Urban Forests national report.

nnwm11_8The toolkit offers “drop-in” web content, an electronic brochure, presentation slides, issue-specific talking points, and model media tools. These copyrighted and royalty-free materials are available to any organizations to adapt to fit their local needs.

The communications tools are the culmination of a process that began with the release of Vibrant Cities & Urban Forests: A National Call to Action. The toolkit will be updated as new resources, or other tools, become available and with the sharing of new best practices by urban forest advocates. The SUFC welcomes any feedback and input.

The goals of creating this toolkit are to:

  • Provide common language for discussing urban forestry issues. Trees and urban forests are highly localized issues, so the communications tools center around a “platform” of the 12 Vibrant Cities recommendations, and strategies for using those recommendations to build on the work you are already doing.
  • Share communications products that can add value to any size organization. The toolkit offers both “branded” and “unbranded” materials. The goal is to enable smaller organizations with limited resources to use our materials “off the shelf,” with little or no editing. Larger organizations can customize the materials in any way they choose. There are both PDF and editable version of most of the resources.
  • Develop tools that can be used to broaden the circle of stakeholders advocating on behalf of urban forests. To create products that can deliver clear and compelling messages to individuals and organizations working on complementary issue, the talking points, slides, and other materials make the explicit connection between urban forests and public health, economic development, environmental justice, and other related issues.

Take a look at the tools:

To take a look at what organizations around the country are doing to implement some of the Vibrant Cities recommendations, take a look at an interactive map. For additional background, read the strategic communications framework that underpinned the development of these tools.

Alliance for Community Trees sits on the the The Vibrant Cities and Urban Forests: A National Call to Action Planning Committee, and many ACTrees member organizations were part of the national Vibrant Communities Task Force, composed of 25 of the most visionary and respected municipal and state officials, national and local non-profit leaders, researchers, urban planners, and foundation and industry representatives.