June 19, 2008
Technology and trees is no more an oxymoron than urban forestry. If your mission is to restore, enhance, and protect the tree canopy of a given locality, then urban forestry technology tools can help you set and achieve ambitious goals using a suite of tools including Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and tree benefit calculators. Extrapolating the data into bottom line dollars and cents can be a powerful tool for gaining the attention of public officials.
Technology in the Urban Forest Resource List
Urban Forestry GIS Applications in Washington, DC
Urban Forestry GIS Applications in San Francisco, CA
Urban Forestry GIS Applications in New York, NY
Urban Forestry GIS Applications in Buffalo, NY
Holli Howard, Director of GIS & IT, Casey Trees (Washington, DC)
Since 2001, Casey Trees has used GIS for inventories and surveys including neighborhood analysis, to share information with District and federal government partners, citizens, business improvement districts, and other organizations, for canopy analysis to set objectives for programs and strategic planning, and to measure success and track performance. Established programs that are supported by GIS, using the ESRI ArcGIS suite, include the Community Tree Planting program, GreenTech education program, and the Casey Trees interactive Tree Map. Recently they have begun looking at the use of GIS in long-range strategic planning- in particular, analyzing and setting tree canopy goals district-wide.
Scott Maco, Research and Development Analyst, Davey Tree (Seattle, WA)
i-Tree was developed by USDA Forest Service researchers. It is a state of the art, peer-reviewed computer software suite containing inventory, analysis, and forecasting tools to help communities assess, manage, and care for their trees and forests. The tools help measure the ecosystem services provided by urban forests that improve human health and the environment. i-Tree was designed to provide cities and towns with the capacity not only to better manage their trees and forests, but also to show decision makers and residents that trees and forests are an important and essential part of healthy, well-balanced communities. Best of all, because it was developed with public funds, the software is available to everyone at no cost.
Brown Bag attendees will learn:
* Bringing trees to residents through mapping and Google Earth.
* How technology aids urban tree canopy goals and forest opportunity models.
* Applying technology to educational outreach and city services.
* Selecting an application: Right technology in the Right place.
* Tools, field assistance, and training needed.
About the Brown Bag Lunch Series
The Brown Bag Lunch Series is the Alliance for Community Trees’ monthly webcast series held at the lunch hour and made possible through support from The Home Depot Foundation and USDA Forest Service. The goal is to create informal training opportunities for local urban and community forestry organizations. The content is geared to mainly serve the needs of volunteer organizations and community groups, although webcasts are open to all.
The trainings leverage local successes by amplifying to a larger audience the model organizations’ methods, materials, and approaches. Sessions are planned to last no more than one hour, with two presenters speaking on the same topic from slightly different perspectives, each for 10-15 minutes, followed by 10-15 minutes of questions and answers.
CEU Approved: 1 Hour