Sustain Our Nation's Forests and Grasslands

IITF supports the publication of a new Urban Forestry Manual for Puerto Rico and U.S Virgin Islands

PUERTO RICO – On May 7, the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and its Agricultural Sciences College presented the new Urban Forestry Manual for Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. The manual addresses important forestry topics in an understandable language, suitable for all audiences. This new version substitutes the previous one, launched back in 1998.

The manual was presented at the facilities of the International Institute of Tropical Forestry in San Juan and is the result of several years of work done by members of the Agricultural Service Extension in Puerto Rico. The publication was part of a special project and it was possible thanks to the help and support from IITF-State and Private Forestry. The unit provided technical assistance and funds dedicated to the creation of the manual.

Inside the manual there is information on benefits of urban forests, biology of the different trees and plants, applicable regulations and permits, how to evaluate species for their selection in specific urban areas, establishment and stewardship of urban forests, description of species, concepts on design and urbanism, prevention and management before and after natural disasters, and a glossary of terms related to biology, forestry and urbanism, among others.

Sally González, Urban Forestry and Landscaping Specialist in Puerto Rico and the main author of the manual, presented it to the public. “The manual, contained in 8 offprints, is intended for all audiences and is written in a non-technical language, so everyone can understand it and apply it to their own experiences in forestry,” mentioned González. 

During the initial launch, 200 physical copies were distributed among key players in urban forestry. However, a digital copy in Spanish is available at their site. More physical copies will be available during the following months, and an English version of the manual is expected to be available by the end of this summer. This second edition aims to present recent and comprehensive data on how to correctly address and manage situations related to landscape and urban forestry in communities in Puerto Rico.

Besides González, there were other five authors and collaborators for the offprints. These were Edgardo González, Urban Landscape Director; Iris Magaly Zayaz, Urban Forestry Specialist at USDA-FS in Atlanta; Georgia; Oscar Abelleira, PhD and Associate Professor at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez; Gloriselle Negrón, Professor in Public Health from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez; and José Juan Terrasa-Soler, ASLA-RLA Marvel Architect.

Woman standing in front of a roon presenting a speaker
Magaly Figueroa, from International Institute of Tropical Forestry, introducing Sally Gonzalez, main author of the new Urban Forestry Manual for Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. USDA Forest Service photo.
Woman standing in front of a room addressing the gathered group
Sally Gonzalez, main author of the new Urban Forestry Manual for Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, addressing the public at the presentation event. USDA Forest Service photo.