September 2019
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Doesn’t it feel great to take refuge under a big shade tree on a hot day? Trees not only provide important shade benefits for those hot summer months, but also energy conservation and a host of other benefits as well. July was the hottest month ever recorded globally and many of us here in the Southeast felt that acutely. Luckily for all of our communities, the State Forestry Agencies and the US Forest Service are committed to growing healthy, resilient, and resourceful community forests. We hope you’ll check out the many great programs focused on shade and energy conservation programs highlighted in this issue and get ideas about ways you can support healthy tree canopies in your area.

Paula Randler, Urban & Community Forestry Program Manager, US Forest Service-Region 8



Community Program Aims to Stem Tide of Declining Canopy in Louisville

Louisville is losing its urban tree canopy at an alarming rate. However, a new program is working to reverse that trend with an innovative approach to encouraging residents to plant trees.The 2015 Louisville Urban Tree Canopy Assessment showed that the city lost 820 acres of canopy or 54,000 trees per year between 2004 and 2012. According to Cindi Sullivan, the executive director of the nonprofit organization TreesLouisville, the primary culprits were identified as emerald ash borer and other insects and diseases, as well as urban development and a lack of interest in tree planting by private owners and cuts to the Louisville metro government budget. TreesLouisville formed in 2015 as a direct result of the urban tree canopy assessment, and with the sole mission of increasing Louisville’s urban forest.



Shade Trees on Playgrounds in Arkansas and Georgia

Trees have been proven to dramatically reduce exposure to damaging sun rays, can reduce surface temperatures of school yards and playground equipment, and increase energy conservation by shading air conditioning equipment, windows and buildings. To address this, several State Forestry Agencies have developed shade-related programs for schools.

The Arkansas Forestry Commission established the Shade Trees on Playgrounds (S.T.O.P.) program fourteen years ago to reduce the risk of skin cancer among Arkansas children. The Georgia Forestry Commission's Making the Shade Program is designed to create healthier, shaded playground areas on elementary school campuses throughout Georgia. 

Energy Savings Tree Program in Texas 

Last year ten thousand trees were distributed in Texas as part of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees (EST) program. The EST program offers a map-based website that homeowners can use to calculate the energy savings value of trees planted on their property, emphasizing right tree in the right place. The program also allows electric utilities and other entities to provide free trees to customers. Through Texas A&M Forest Service engagement, Oncor Electric Delivery has been the primary sponsor of the program in Texas, distributing over forty-five thousand trees since 2012.


New Faces in Urban & Community Forestry

We have several new people that have joined urban and community forestry programs across the South over the last few months.

Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives 

The Southern Group of State Foresters has developed a communications campaign called Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives to communicate why trees are vital to good health and well-being, including the shade benefits of trees for healthy skin and lowered temperatures.

Urban Tree Canopy Assessment

 The USDA Forest Service has produced a new report detailing the initial steps of Urban Tree Canopy project planning, assessment, and data analysis.

Vibrant Cities Lab

An innovative multi-faceted web platform that can help professionals, policymakers, and the public access the best available science, understand the value of investing in our urban and community forests, and take concrete steps to plant better, more effective and efficient urban and community forestry programs.


Upcoming Conferences & Meetings:

Tree Week 
October 12 - 19, 2019
Lexington, KY

11th Annual Great NC Tree Conference
September 26-27, 2019
Winston-Salem, NC

39th Texas Tree Conference, Academy, Trade Show and Tree Schools
September 25-27, 2019
Waco, TX

Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference
October 2-4, 2019
Atlanta, GA

Georgia Tree Conference and Trade Show
November 7-8, 2019
Stone Mountain, GA

Partners in Community Forestry

November 20-21, 2019
Cleveland, OH

© 2019 USDA Forest Service Urban Forestry South, All rights reserved.
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