Tree Training Intensives

2015 | Cuyahoga River Restoration (formerly Cuyahoga River Community Planning)

Tree Training Intensives is a series of workshops for community leaders, Tree Commission members, and students considering careers in arboriculture and urban forestry. Each of the three workshops will be held in, and hosted by, a different Ohio Great Lakes Area of Concern, highlighting the concept that healthy forests and tree canopy are key to the restoration and protection of these watersheds and Lake Erie. The Areas of Concern include the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, the Black River in Lorain, and the Maumee River in Toledo. Regional Urban Foresters from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry will assist in presenting the information. Participants will learn how trees work, their function and benefits to communities, how communities can best support healthy tree canopy, the role of arborists and opportunities in the field, and how to use various tools for assessment and planning of both urban and riparian forests. Workshops will include hands-on exercises involving tree identification, health assessment, and data gathering. The training will equip participants with information and training that will make them better decision makers in their communities, and will inspire an increased regard for the work of community arborists.

More than 150 representatives of tree commissions, municipalities, and the public from 53 communities participated in Tree Training Intensive Workshops carried out in the spring and summer in Cleveland, Lorain, and Toledo. The workshops, presented by Cuyahoga River Restoration through a TREE Fund grant, featured highlights from Tree Commission Academy, discussions about how healthy urban forests improve watershed health, presentations from working arborists about careers in the field, outdoor exercises, and examples of online tree resources and their use. The workshops were hosted by organizations facilitating the restoration of their respective watershed Areas of Concern – Cuyahoga River Restoration for its watershed, the Lorain County Health District for the Black River, and Partners for Clean Streams for the Maumee River – to raise awareness of the importance of healthy urban forests not only to communities but also to the health of streams, rivers, and ultimately Lake Erie. Arborists play a significant role where trees, communities, and watersheds intersect. A primary goal of the project was to raise awareness of the work of arborists, and opportunities within the profession, to strengthen the connections between communities and the people who care for and manage their trees, and to help them to share the message that our urban forests are essential parts of a community’s infrastructure.

We could not have done the project without TREE Fund support. As a small nonprofit, we rely on grants to carry out our work so this funding supported the staff time for three organizations to prepare and present the workshops, and to produce the materials that will continue to support the participating communities.