USDA Forest Service
 

Pacific Northwest Research Station

 
 
 
 
Pacific Northwest Research Station
333 SW First Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service
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» People, Cities, and Forests

Green Cities Research Alliance

Green Cities Research Alliance
Photo by Guy Cramer

More than 80 percent of the Pacific Northwest region’s population lives in urbanized areas. The Green Cities Research Alliance, based in Washington state’s Puget Sound area, is focusing on the social and environmental situations where people live, learn, work, and play. The alliance has several research and assessment projects in progress. The knowledge gained from these studies will be used to create sustainable urban areas and more livable cities. The Green Cities Research Alliance partners include the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station; University of Washington; Forterra; Institute for Culture and Ecology; and King County Parks and Recreation.

Contact: Dale Blahna, dblahna@fs.fed.us.



Forests Inside Out!

Forests Inside Out!
Photo by Becky Bittner

Forests Inside Out! is a conservation education program for children from underserved and diverse communities in the greater Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area. The program promotes active, healthy, lifestyles through activities in local parks, natural areas, and national forests. Forests Inside Out! has served about 400 children, ages 6 to 10, for 2-day experiences exploring and learning about nature. Eight area high school and college age students were hired as mentors for the program. Forests Inside Out! is a partnership between the Forest Service and World Forestry Center.

Contact: Becky Bittner, bbittner@fs.fed.us.


Inner City Youth Institute

Inner City Youth Institute
Photo by Becky Bittner

The Inner City Youth Institute (ICYI) encourages underrepresented youth to pursue higher education and careers in the natural resource and environmental fields.  The institute hosts summer programs for students from high schools in Portland, Oregon, and southwest Washington. Youth in last summer’s program stayed in dorms at Oregon State University (OSU) and took field trips to the Forest Service’s H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, the Hatfield Marine Science Center at the Oregon coast, and more. About 200 youth have participated in the program. The ICYI is a partnership among the Forest Service, OSU, and the Bureau of Land Management.

Contact: Becky Bittner, bbittner@fs.fed.us.


Urban Forests and Housing Costs

Urban Forests and Housing Costs
Photo by Guy Cramer

Urban trees may influence how much people are willing to pay for rental housing in Portland, Oregon. Understanding how people respond to environmental characteristics can be good for business. Research conducted by the Pacific Northwest Research Station and the National Institute of Standards and Technology shows that Portland houses with trees command higher rents. A tree in the yard increased monthly rent by over $5.00. A tree in the public right-of-way increased rent by $21 a month. These findings are consistent with a previous study in Portland showing that a street tree adds $7,130 to the sales price of a house.
Contact: Geof Donovan, gdonovan@fs.fed.us.




Featured Professional

Beckey BittnerBecky Bittner is a technology transfer specialist and conservation education specialist for the Pacific Northwest Research Station. She has coordinated conservation education activities for the station since 1999, helping to serve more than 1,000 children over the years. She connects station scientists with the local communities through programs like the Inner City Youth Institute and Forests Inside Out! 
“I enjoy teaching kids about conservation education because I know many of them will be making decisions in the future that will impact their natural environment and I want them to be informed,”explains Bittner.  After completing a graduate degree in forestry management at Oregon State University, she held a variety of positions in the Forest Service, including planner, economist, and recreation officer, for the Pacific Northwest, Southwestern, and Pacific Southwest Regions before joining the station.


Tools and Software

i-Tree


i-Tree U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell recently announced the release of new mobile software that helps urban planners, homeowners and students quantify the value of their urban forests.
Earlier versions of the award-winning i-Tree software suite made forest management easy and accessible for millions of Americans. Now, with i-Tree version 5.0, the Forest Service and its partners have increased not only the suite of tools available, but the range of devices that can use it, including smartphones and tablets. The software is completely free for download.
i-Tree allows users to easily and accurately find the dollar value of the benefits provided by urban forests, including energy cost savings, storm-water capture and city pollution absorption.

 

US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Tuesday,05August2014 at09:42:19CDT


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