The Forest Service is a proud partner in restoring and sustaining America’s community forests. The Urban & Community Forestry (UCF) Program supports forest health for all of our Nation’s forests, creates jobs, contributes to vibrant regional wood economies, enhances community resilience and preserves the unique sense of place in cities and towns of all sizes. By working with our state partners to deliver information, tools and financial resources, the program supports fact-based and data-driven best practices in communities, maintaining, restoring, and improving the more than 140 million acres of community forest land across the United States. Learn more about how the UCF program supports a thriving America (PDF).
Strategic Focus Areas
Priorities, tasks, resource allocation, partnerships, program direction, performance measures and accountability at all levels of the Program align with the seven goals outlined in the collaboratively developed Ten-Year Urban Forestry Action Plan (2016-2026).
Integrate Urban and Community Forestry Into all Scales of Planning.
- Support inclusion of trees and forests as elements of all community comprehensive and master planning efforts.
- Support the integration of urban forestry into all scales of city, regional, and state-scale master plans.
- Launch a public awareness and education campaign to elevate recognition of the value of urban trees and urban forests ecosystems as essential contributors to community sustainability and resilience.
- Increase community capacity to use urban trees and forestry in public space planning, infrastructure, and private development.
Promote the Role of Urban and Community Forestry in Human Health and Wellness.
- Expand opportunities for collaboration with the health community.
- Champion a nationwide marketing campaign that links trees to human health and wellness.
- Plan, design and manage urban forests to improve human health and wellness.
- Develop tools to improve and highlight the relationship between improved public health, wellness, and urban and community forestry and green infrastructure.
Cultivate Diversity, Equity, and Leadership Within the Urban Forestry Community.
- Increase diversity, equity, and accessibility in urban and community forestry.
- Engage under served communities in urban and community forestry.
- Develop effective leadership at all levels to build a national voice for urban forestry.
- Increase workforce development opportunities and green jobs in urban and community forestry, with particular attention to under served communities.
- Promote expanded collaboration, training and communication within the field of urban and community forestry to build workforce professional development.
Strengthen Urban and Community Forest Health and Biodiversity for Long-Term Resilience.
- Increase the biodiversity, health, and resilience of trees in urban and community forests.
- Foster resilience, restoration, and sustainability of urban and community forests facing climate change challenges.
- Support use of urban forests for increasing community food resilience and access to local foods.
Improve Urban and Community Forest Management, Maintenance, and Stewardship.
- Improve urban and community forest management, maintenance, and arboricultural practices.
- Develop comprehensive programs, policies, and resources for enhancing urban forestry stewardship.
- Promote for better use of technology and tools in urban forestry.
- Facilitate expanded research and delivery of scientific findings to all stakeholders. (See Research Agenda).
Diversify, Leverage, and Increase Funding for Urban and Community Forestry.
- Increase funding and grants for urban and community forestry.
- To leverage and diversify funding, expand collaboration between urban forestry and related fields, agencies, and sectors.
Increase Public Awareness and Environmental Education to Promote Stewardship.
- Create environmental education programs that focus on urban and community forestry issues.
- Create a nationwide urban forestry public awareness and education campaign.
- Increase engagement of undeserved and minority communities in urban forestry establishment and stewardship.
Projects and Partners
The Forest Service is proud to act as partner and sponsor of work that helps connect people with nature and with each other. By restoring and sustaining the health of urban forests we not only preserve the unique sense of place found in our nation's cities and towns, but recognize our own place within these communities and the larger landscape.
See the slideshow above to learn more about some of our partnerships.
National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council
The National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC) is an appointed advisory council to the Secretary of Agriculture on urban forestry and related issues. The 1990 Farm Bill created NUCFAC to bring together the wide variety of voices raised about a common concern: the present health and future preservation of America's urban forests. NUCFAC was founded to synthesize the full spectrum of views into a consistent vision, as a foundation for practical policy on urban forestry.
Technology and Science Delivery
The Forest Service’s National Urban Forest Technology & Science Delivery Team was formed in November 2013 to deliver quality urban natural resources science, technology, and information to improve the long-term sustainability of urban ecosystems. The team’s mission is to help inform environmental stewardship and sustainably sound decisions about urban and community lands and the broader watershed, for wildlife and people.
Regional UCF Programs