Indiana Municipal Urban Forest Programs project - How are they addressing program sustainability?
BUFRG researchers (Fischer, Moxley, Freeman-Day, DeVoe, Hummel) developed a methodology to scan the websites of all Indiana cities with “active” municipal urban forestry programs using a three-factor approach to determine municipalities that may have an active urban forestry program. Evidence of active urban forestry programs includes a) current Tree City USA status and/or an b) IDNR CUF grant to complete a street tree/canopy cover inventory/create a city urban forest plan and/or c) have an arborist/urban forester on staff. The process resulted in a database of 75 cities deemed to have an active urban forestry program We then scanned each city’s website to collect data for each program and municipality.
Findings to date: Many UF programs and program activities do not have a strong presence on city websites, and clearly not lead by an urban forester or arborist (only approximately 20 have a ‘trained’ leader). Second, most programs do not appear to have recent inventories, urban forestry plans, or specific goals related to UF sustainability that are easily accessible in a public platform (municipal website). Additionally, very few programs have documented concern for changing environmental conditions or included in their efforts adaptation to climate change effects.