2014 | Colorado Tree Coalition
The Colorado Tree Coalition is grateful for the TREE Fund EAB grant for our 2014/2015 project. With the onset of the EAB era in Colorado as of September 2013, the Colorado response has been rapid, detailed and thorough. With the additional funds from the TREE Fund for our education and outreach efforts we plan the following:
-Ash identification and EAB status and management brochures for parks/forestry/public works staff, city administrative personnel, green industry professionals and citizens, available as a handout and utility bill mailer for impacted communities in Boulder County and along the northern Front Range.
-EAB identification and management door hangers for municipal and commercial arborists to distribute to ash tree owners in their communities that would use a treatment zone map and guidelines.
-Ribbons to place on selected ash trees in high visibility public areas to create public awareness. Ribbons would have laminated EAB information to further facilitate getting information to the public. Ribbons would be distributed to communities within the quarantine zone.
A simple, easy to use ash management cost calculator website that provides costs for treatment, removal and replacing of ash trees. This is geared for residences and HOA’s to help with management decisions on smaller scale ash owners along the Front Range of Colorado.
When the Colorado Tree Coalition applied for a TREE Fund grant in 2014, a five-square-mile section of Boulder had been confirmed infested with EAB; about a year later, the confirmed infested area had doubled in size. But thanks to generous funding from the TREE Fund, public awareness of EAB has grown substantially as well. More than 100,000 citizens in and near the quarantine area now have an increased level of awareness of EAB and better access to additional EAB resources thanks to the utility bill mailers, door hangers, tree ribbon displays, bus ads, and car chargers that were part of the Emerald Ash Borer Colorado Public Relations Project. Thanks to the TREE Fund, Colorado communities have a much better understanding of how to respond to the arrival or imminent threat of EAB, decreasing the risk of spread and slowing the speed of that spread when additional infestations do occur. Thanks to the media coverage and the CTC’s collaboration with other organizations and communities during this project, the impact of the Emerald Ash Borer Colorado Public Relations project has been magnified far beyond the resources put into it, as it has been able to leverage already-existing materials, messaging and resources in its campaigns. Colorado communities are now better able to respond to the threat of EAB by discouraging wood transport, detecting new EAB infestations early, treating or removing sick or high-risk trees, performing more informed urban forestry budget planning, and initiating the planting of ash tree replacements.
This important project would not have been possible without the support of the TREE Fund. Money for EAB education and outreach is hard to come by at a time when federal and state funding for urban forestry is already limited, but that difficulty does not lessen the importance of conducting this outreach. This generous TREE Fund support has helped to prevent and slow the spread of EAB within the state and has given thousands of community members the opportunity to plan for and budget their response to EAB. The CTC believes that the investment made in this project will result in incalculable financial returns in the form of reduced ash tree loss, increased non-ash tree plantings, and greater financial stability for Colorado communities.