Creating healthy urban forests

Our Invest From the Ground Up Campaign has teamed up with cities throughout Southern California to improve the long term health of our urban forests. The City Forest Renewal Project (CFR), funded through CAL FIRE’s Urban Forest and Community Grant program will be removing trees that are dead or posing a risk.

These hazardous trees, have been inspected and are suffering from damage from pests, drought, or have a structural issue that poses a risk. This program does not remove healthy, low-risk trees from the urban forest. Each tree is chosen by the City for evaluation of eligibility to remove trees through this program. A certified Arborist then goes to evaluate the trees to determine if they are eligible.

Any tree removed will be replaced with two more trees planted in the city. We will also be working with our partner cities to improve the management of their urban forest, beyond the lifetime of this grant!

Additionally, the City Forest Renewal Project will utilize the wood from the removed trees wherever feasible.

To find out more about the project, visit the website: City Forest Renewal Project

Coming full CIRCLE

 

The California Initiative to Reduce Carbon & Limit Emissions 1.0 (CIRCLE 1.0) is the first of multiple successful CAL FIRE Urban and Community Forestry grants to come to completion.

Awarded to the California Urban Forests Council (CaUFC), in partnership with the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (WCISA), and West Coast Arborists, Inc. (WCA, Inc.). The goal of CIRCLE 1.0 was to sequester and avoid carbon by tree planting, while also improving California urban forests in disadvantaged communities. Planting over 1,350 trees and mobilizing communities to care for their urban forests. Since the fall of 2016, residents and the municipalities have maintained the trees.

CIRCLE 1.0 advanced a practical project model, centered on community outreach campaigns. In each of the ten cities we initially partnered with, we cultivated the ownership of the trees by the community through tree planting events and watering agreements. In each location, the city partnered with a local community group.

Our model put ownership in the hands of the community. Equally as important, we equipped the neighborhoods with the information necessary to care for their trees.

To learn more about the program,  view the program report.

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Supporter Spotlight

Every month in our newsletter we will be casting the spotlight on individuals working to make our communities better through urban forests. If you would like to participate, visit our website to find out more.

Mona Nyandoro Cummings,
CEO of Tree Fresno since 10/01/2019

How did you first become interested in urban forestry?
I have always been interested in trees, animals and the environment. I grew up hiking, camping, and watching “Wild Kingdom.”

How did you begin your career?
I first worked in tropical forestry as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1994-1996, on the island nation of Sao Tome and Principe in West Africa. I also worked for Peace Corps in 2010, paired with Gorongosa National Park, in the forestry division. GNP is a massive ecological restoration effort in Mozambique, primarily funded by an American philanthropist.

What is your favorite/most rewarding part of your job?
My favorite part of the job is working closely with my Tree Fresno team, as we are laser-focused on the goal of planting trees and making the world a better place.

What current issues or trends in urban forestry should we be aware of?
There are funding gaps for 1) removal and maintenance of trees, 2) providing a regular stream of give-away trees (for property owners/renters to plant), 3) serving unincorporated (non-urban) communities

What is your favorite tree?
My favorite tree is the baobab.

Mona has also recently joined the CaUFC board, as the regional council representative for the San Joaquin Valley.

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Supporter Spotlight

Emily Spillet,
Senior Area Manager,
Davey Resource Group Inc.

What is it you do?
I manage $4 Million of various Urban Forestry Projects on the West Coast.

How did you first become interested in urban forestry?
I began my career in Utility Vegetation Management and was curious about areas without powerlines and the general management of municipal trees.

How did you begin your career?
With Davey Resource Group, as a consulting utility arborist.

What is your favorite/most rewarding part of your job?
Helping clients find solutions for their urban forests, and connecting clients with each other.

What current issues or trends in urban forestry should we be aware of?
Pest management, the Wildland-Urban Interface, emergency preparation, water

What is your favorite tree?
Today it is cork oak.

Do you have a favorite book about trees?
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein…maybe not my all time favorite, but my longest favorite for sure

Emily is our current board president. If you are interested in contributing your time and talents on the CaUFC board, please visit our website. Our board members are passionate about trees and dedicated to community building, and bring a wide range of expertise and experience.

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