In arboriculture and urban forestry, emerald ash borer (EAB) is the most destructive forest pest ever seen in North America. In Spring 2014, the TREE Fund awarded five arboriculture education grants supporting community education on EAB. Each organization is taking a different approach, but all are focused on education as an important tool in the fight against this invasive species:
- The Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Kodak, TN, is using the grant to educate the community and the visiting public in Great Smoky Mountains National Park about the threat that EAB poses and demonstrate techniques to manage it.
- The Media Working Group, Inc. in Cincinnati, OH, is producing and distributing a Community Action Toolkit to advance public understanding of the benefits of urban forests and the importance of mitigating the impact of EAB in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.
- The Colorado Tree Coalition in Broomfield, CO, is funding EAB education and outreach efforts aimed at citizens, parks/forestry/public works staff, city administrative personnel and green industry professionals.
- The Cornell Cooperative Extension in Kingston, NY, is project creating a Tree Steward Volunteer Program to train volunteers to plant, care for and educate the public about urban trees, including EAB identification and management.
- The City of Frankfort Tree Board/Commonwealth Gardens, in Frankfort, KY, is using their grant for a workshop targeted at property owners, professionals and elected officials around the region, teaching them about the problems and solutions associated with EAB.
We’re looking forward to seeing the difference these initiatives are making in the battle against EAB when we receive the grantees’ reports later this year.