Search
US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
You are here: Home / Urban Forest Connections Webinars / CommuniTree: A Model for Engaging Communities in Tree Planting and Maintenance Projects

CommuniTree: A Model for Engaging Communities in Tree Planting and Maintenance Projects

Volunteers planting a tree
Drew Hart, USDA Forest Service

CommuniTree: A Model for Engaging Communities in Tree Planting and Maintenance Projects
April 8, 2020

Tree planting can help communities achieve many resiliency goals such as cooling heat islands, reducing stormwater floods, and building neighborhood cohesion.  But trees can only do these things if they survive and thrive to maturity.  CommuniTree is a model community partnership used in the Chicago region and Northwest Indiana to address community needs for trees and the capacity to plant and sustain them.  In this novel presentation, USDA Forest Service specialist Drew Hart will lay out the challenges and principles of community/corporate partnership and workforce development, gathered from years of practice and study.  Daiva Gylys with the Student Conservation Association will introduce their proven strategy for developing a skilled and diverse workforce, which has resulted in thousands of new trees planted and maintained. 

Presentations

View the webinar podcast »

CommuniTree: A Model for Engaging Communities in Tree Planting and Maintenance Projects
Drew Hart
Natural Resources Specialist
USDA Forest Service

Daiva Gylys
National Manager for Community Programs
Student Conservation Association

Resources

Resources Mentioned in the Webinar

CommuniTree Tree Care Maintenance Agreement
This is the volunteer and tree care agreement that new tree stewards are asked to sign.  It outlines care requirements for the newly planted tree.

CommuniTree: Partnerships for tree planting and research in Northwest Indiana
This is a complementary presentation about CommuniTree by Dr. Jess Vogt of the Lab for Urban Forestry in the Anthropocene (LUFA) at DePaul University. The presentation describes CommuniTree, a multi-organization, community urban forestry partnership that engages in tree planting in underserved, post-industrial Northwest Indiana communities. Coordinated by the U.S. Forest Service and modeled after Collective Impact, the partnership involves many public, private, and nonprofit partners as well as several municipalities.

A transdisciplinary, mixed methods research agenda for evaluating collective impact for tree planting: The CommuniTree initiative in northwest Indiana, U.S.
This draft manuscript (in review) describes the theory and research design for CommuniTree, which is attempting to alleviate some of the social and ecological issues experienced by post-industrial Rust Belt communities.

US Forest Service Resources

Forest Service Tree Owner’s Manual - National Edition (English)
Forest Service Tree Owner’s Manual - National Edition (Spanish)
One common issue facing our urban forests is the fact that trees are dying prematurely. Many are planted improperly, setting them up for failure. Many do not receive regular maintenance. And few are adequately protected during construction projects. To help remedy this issue, the Forest Service has created this manual. Just like the owner's manual that comes with automobiles and appliances, this manual includes a parts list, instructions for installation, tips for troubleshooting common issues, recommended service, and more.