January 2001 Project Update

Accomplishments (January  2000 - January 2001): 

  • Developed a model "Storm Damage Assessment Protocol for the Northeast" which established a mechanism for the timely and accurate estimation of damage costs related to storm damage to trees growing in urban areas. A series of training workshops, outlining the assessment protocol were conducted in New England and New York. These workshops included classroom instruction and field exercises.

  • Developed a "Tree Emergency Manual for Public Officials" and an accompanying "Resource Compendium" that is designed to be a practical and concise guide to managing disastrous tree damage in urban and community forests. Its focus is upon urban forests where questions of safely and cost are critical, and its target audience is public tree managers. 

  • Developed "Training Resource Modules for Management the Asian Longhorned Beetle" which provide an introduction to the beetle, its life cycle, physical characteristics and eradication protocols. Included in the training modules, which are intended as self-study, or delivery in classroom settings, contains a series of exercises, resource materials, decision tables and review quizzes.

  • Conducted a series of Asian Longhorned Beetle instructional workshops in conjunction with the distribution of "Beetle Buster Toolboxes" in New York City and Long Island. These 'train-the-trainer' workshops outlined the use of the instructional materials contained in the toolboxes, including preserved samples of adult beetles, larvae and infested wood. The workshops were held in cooperation with NY ReLeaf and a series of local partners.

  • Conducted Hazard Tree Assessment Workshops, in New York and Massachusetts, for state natural resource personnel, municipal foresters, and state transportation agency staff. These workshops provided training materials, lectures, and field demonstrations illustrating principles of hazard tree identification, management response and prevention.

  • Provided assistance to states and communities implementing Street and Park Tree Inventories, including training curriculum development and instruction, and technical assistance.

  • Developed Street and Park Tree Inventory Templates for the collection, archiving and analysis of data on the location, type, condition and management needs of public street and park trees. These protocols and templates have been incorporated into the Center's web site, providing access to a wide range of users.

  • Developed a Street Tree Inventory Template for Palm Pilot® hand held Personnel Digital Assistants (PDA) which can be linked to computerized spreadsheet or database software programs. Field-tested the method in several communities, utilizing student interns and municipal staff. 

  • Updated the Northeast Center for Urban & Community Forestry's Web Site, providing increased technical content to users and enhanced links to other sources of technical assistance and management tools.

  • Provided assistance in the development of the "Ecological Cities Initiative," which represents a partnership between numerous organizations, researchers, colleges and universities, non-profit and NGO's and federal and state agencies, aiming to improve the transfer of information and technology related to urban greenspace. Housed at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, this initiative will conduct a series of workshops across the country over the next two years, co-sponsored by local partners.

  • Provided assistance to the Springfield (MA) Water and Sewer Commission and the Mill River Partnership, in the development of improved management of an urban watershed, which includes four communities in Western Massachusetts. This project will serve as a model for transfer to other watersheds in the Northeast.

  • Provided assistance in the development of an 18-minute video, and accompanying CD-ROM, entitled "Design Alternatives for Streetscapes," which provides an overview of the use of trees as a component of the urban environment. Includes useful graphics, technical information and resources that can be utilized by a wide range of audiences, ranging from practicing design professionals to citizen based organizations.

  • Assisted in a study of Wood Waste Utilization in Massachusetts and present the findings at the National Wood Waste Utilization Conference, sponsored by Tree City USA, in Nebraska City, NE.

  • Provided technical assistance to the "Prospect Cemetery Restoration Project" in Queens, New York City, including completing a site analysis and the development of a strategy for funding and restoration of one of the oldest graveyards in NYC.

  • Provide technical assistance to the "Cleaning for Breathing Initiative" in Hunts' Point, NYC, including site visits and assistance in developing a strategy for organizing and implementing the scope of the project, which aims at improving the air quality in this neighborhood.

  • Co-Hosted the "Annual Urban and Community Forestry Conference", in cooperation with UMass Extension, focusing on urban forest management methods, tools and technology. Attended by over 200 participants, this conference included speakers from industry, agencies and academic researchers.

  • Initiated the development of a poster and guide to "Invasive Vegetation along the Urban/Rural Gradient," which will be completed and distributed at a series of informational workshops being planned for the region.

  • Recruited and supervised two student interns, to work in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management and the Northeast Center on a street tree inventory for the City of Leominster (MA) and an analysis of the Tree City USA program in the state of Massachusetts.

  • Distributed ten copies of the 3-part tree planting, selection and soils video series produced by Cornell Cooperative Extension to each of the states in New England, and New York.

  • Developed a model inventory methodology for the collection of data on urban trail systems, including information on soil erosion, surface condition, hazard trees and other hazards. A pilot test of the methodology was field tested in Forest Park (Springfield, MA) utilizing student interns from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst.

  • Conducted a workshop at the Annual NYReLeaf Conference, in Albany, NY at which time participants undertook an exercise at designing an actual streetscape, which included trees, site amenities and parking.

Future Direction:

It is anticipated that the Northeast Center will expand its delivery of technology transfer, technical assistance and program delivery to the states in New England and New York over the next fiscal year through the expansion of partnerships and cooperative agreements with state and local agencies and organizations. It is also expected that the Center will expand its regional role in the Northeastern Area through increased cooperation and partnership with the two other NA Centers for Urban & Community Forestry located in St. Paul, MN and at Keystone College in Pennsylvania. Additionally, the Center will be working as a member of the National Urban Forestry Technology Transfer Team, housed in the Forest Service Washington Office.

Specific projects outlined for delivery over the next year include the development and production of a video and CD-ROM outlining the proper selection of plant material for planting in urban areas, a "Stormproofing Your Community" conference to be conducted in two locations in the region, delivery of Asian Longhorned Beetle training to community trainers in New York City, continued technical assistance in the area of urban forest inventories and the development of strategic management plans for urban forest resources, the delivery of distance learning programs related to urban forest management, and expansion of the Center's web site and a subscription list-server for New England and New York. 

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Site last modified by Adam Esten: September 9, 2004
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