2017 | Richard Hauer, PhD, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
Currently no easy to use model(s) and interactive dashboard exists for urban foresters to monitor urban forest programs effectively and efficiently and to implement findings into decision making. This project will create an easy to use approach to evaluate and track progress within urban forestry programs. Ultimately this will help communities identify programmatic areas to improve and lead to a sustainable urban forest program and tree population. An important foundation for this project comes from our knowledge of the approaches that 667 municipal urban forestry programs use to manage their urban forests (see http://www.uwsp.edu/cnr/Pages/
We were able to demonstrate variables associated with a municipal forestry program that are related to incorporating volunteers within a forestry program. For example, we found Volunteers were more commonly involved in communities with a greater urban-forestry capacity derived from a sustainability index score. Six attributes of municipal forestry program had either positive (+) or negative (-) effect on volunteer participation in urban forestry activities. These included adequate budget (-), per capita spending (-), tree board (+), outreach (+), strategic plan (+), and total employment (+). We are taking this finding to the next step in our research timeline to formalize our sustainability models into a model for communities to identify their status on an index score and use this finding to plan for the improvement of their municipal forestry program.
Hauer, R. J., N. Timilsina, J. Vogt, B. C. Fischer, Z. Wirtz, W. Peterson. “A Volunteer and Partnership Baseline for Municipal Forestry Activity in the United States.” Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 44, no. 2 (2018): 87–100.