USDA Forest Service
 

Pacific Northwest Research Station

 
 
 
Pacific Northwest Research Station
1220 SW 3rd Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 808-2100

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Green Cities Research Alliance
Urban Natural Resources Stewardship

Sustainable cities through science, policy, and action

RESEARCH PROJECTS

Current Project
Stewardship Motivations and Satisfactions  

Forest Ecosystem Services and Values:
The first need for a long-term management effort that conserves and enhances forest health is to know baseline conditions. Using multiple tools and procedures, project collaborators (including government, nongovernment organizations, and universities) will test and refine various approaches for rapid assessment, and use such information to calculate and communicate the ecosystem services that are provided by an urban forest system. pdf


Study Goals

Bullet. Understand the function and structure of regional forests, as well as to estimate monetary values for ecosystem services provided by regional trees.

Bullet. Apply the i-Tree Eco tool on three scales in King County: the city of Seattle, King County parklands, and an urban to wildland gradient along the Green-Duwamish River.

Bullet. Improve forest assessment tools for use in King County and other Pacific Northwest communities.

     
Forest Landscape Assment Tools  

Forest Landscape Assessment Tools:
Many local jurisdictions have strategically acquired numerous forested parcels through long-term, open-space conservation initiatives. Few sites have forest stewardship plans, and most need adequate forest inventory or assessment. Forested areas of urbanized landscapes provide a wide range of ecosystem services – environmental, social, and economic. Assessment helps demonstrate public value that any parcel or site offers. pdf

Study Goals

Bullet. Develop rapid forest assessment protocols that can be used to establish baseline conditions and health, and that can be replicated on other public lands.

Bullet. Conduct forest assessment on over 23,000 acres of King County managed open-space forest lands distributed across 150 park sites.

Bullet. Develop long-term forest stewardship recommendations, and identify opportunities to collaborate with public and private agencies on forest stewardship.

     
pdfs/CivicEnvironmental Stewardship Motivations  

Civic Environmental Stewardship Motivations:
More and more citizens and organizations are working on behalf of the environment. Volunteers at stewardship events throughout the metro Seattle area are being surveyed to learn more about stewardship motivations, satisfactions, and project contributions. Results will help us to understand how to better recruit, retain, and support the 1,000s of people who contribute their time and effort. pdf


Study Goals

Bullet.Work with stewardship project sponsors and organizations to better understand their program needs.
Bullet.Interact with project participants (volunteer and paid) to better understand why and how they choose to be involved.
Bullet.Assess and implement effective ways to recruit and retain program participants.
Bullet.Create guidelines for program managers and leaders so that project learnings are shared across programs.

     
Stewardship Footprint Analysis and Ecosystem Recovery  

Stewardship "Footprint" Analysis and Ecosystem Recovery:
Urban green spaces contain materials that are used by many urban residents. We'll study the social, economic, and cultural importance of food and materials found in urban ecosystems, and about the roles of gathering and stewardship practices in supporting healthy ecosystems. pdf


Study Goals

Bullet. Document the diversity of plants, materials, and fungi being gathered, and better understand the places where gathering occurs.
Bullet. Describe the characteristics of gatherers, and the social, economic, and cultural importance of gathering.
Bullet. Examine how gatherers steward NTFPs and interface with urban forest planning and restoration activities.
Bullet. Develop recommendations for including gathering considerations into stewardship and ecological restoration programs.

     
Residential Location Choices and Natural Resources  

Urban Foraging: Gathering and Stewardship of Non-Timber Forest Products:
Urban forests and greenspaces are valued for their many ecosystem and community benefits. The purpose of this research is to investigate the roles that NTFPs gathering and stewardship practices play in the development and management of healthy forest ecosystems in Seattle, Washington. pdf


Study Goals

Bullet.Document the diversity of plants, materials, and fungi being gathered, and better understand the places where gathering occurs.
Bullet.Describe the characteristics of gatherers, and the social, economic, and cultural importance of gathering.
Bullet.Examine how gatherers steward NTFPs and interface with urban forest planning and restoration activities.
Bullet.Develop recommendations for including gathering considerations into stewardship and ecological restoration programs.

     
Residential Location Choices and Natural Resources  

Residential Location Choices and Natural Resources:
This project will collect information about the factors leading to growth and development along the wildland to urban interface (with focus on suburban and exurban areas). Results will explain the role of natural amenities in residential location decisions and explore variation in environmental interaction. pdf


Study Goals

Bullet.Document the types and patterns of exurban development.
Bullet.Describe demographic and economic characteristics of exurban residents.
Bullet.Identify factors influencing residential location choices,
Bullet.Examine residents’ recreation uses of public and private lands, and interest in stewardship activities.
Bullet.Collaborate with public and private agencies and organizations, landowners, and others to facilitate resource stewardship activities in exurban areas.

     
Green Cities for Good Health  

Green Cities for Good Health:

In recent decades, new knowledge about the environmental benefits of urban trees and green spaces (such as air and water quality improvements) has been widely communicated. Nearly 40 years of research also provides evidence about how urban greening aids human health and well-being and makes cities more livable. A research review, prepared as a collection of science summaries, is now available on the Web and provides evidence for why nearby nature is essential for all who live, work, and learn in urban environments The environment is a complex network of interacting organism and materials systems. Just as complex are the sociocultural systems of the communities and organizations that engage in stewardship. We'll use Social Network Analysis methods to better understand the inconnections of committed organization. Knowledge about the stewardship network will enhance program efficiences and effectiveness. pdf


Project Goals

Bullet.Share social science and human dimensions research with urban natural resources decisionmakers and managers.
Bullet.Provided an expanded framework for how urban nature helps build social capital in communities.
Bullet.Translate science findings that are distributed across many disciplines (such as psychology, sociology, urban planning, public health, geography, and others) into Focused Science Delivery Products, and
Bullet.Assemble the data and findings that can be used for additional economic valuation studies, and development of an i-Tree Community module.

 

 

 


Contact for Information:

Kathy Wolf, Research Social Scientist; USDA Forest Service and University of Washington

 

 

 

 

 

US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Monday,16September2013 at17:53:25CDT


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