New Year’s Resolutions for the Urban Forest

New Year’s Resolutions for the Urban Forest

By Laurel Kelly, ASLA

Tree Science


Did this New Year’s resolutions include stepping up your involvement in education, advocacy, and action to improve our neighborhoods? If not, don’t worry – it’s not too late! There’s still time until the Year of the Snake takes off with a bang on February 10 – plenty of time to plan those positive steps you can take to make a difference.

California Urban Forests Council

One New Year’s resolution recommendation comes from Isabelle Minn, ASLA, Associate Principal at The Planning Center/DC&E in Berkeley. Isabelle is a landscape architect with a long-standing interest and expertise in urban greening projects. She suggests that this year, Bay Area landscape architects consider joining the California Urban Forests Council (CaUFC) – the oldest urban forestry organization in the state.

In a brief interview with Isabelle just a few weeks ago, she explained that her leadership role on CaUFC’s board developed from her strong belief in the importance of healthy urban forests in making our communities and cities liveable. She pointed to CaUFC’s vital role in helping “link professionals who believe in this cause, as well as reaching out to new groups and individuals, so that there is additional support at the local level and statewide.”

Isabelle pointed to CaUFC’s most recent effort, the Invest from the Ground Up campaign, as an effective tool for landscape architects, in both the private and public sectors, to reach out to homeowners and business owners regarding the value of investing in our urban forests. The website provides resources including fact sheets geared toward different audiences to download for distribution, to help spread the word. “We want to let them know how investing in trees and tree maintenance improves environmental quality, increases home values and the local economy, and improves the quality of life in our communities.” Landscape architects can also “play a crucial role in helping make decisions about the right tree for the right place, so that the benefits of the trees we plant and take care of are maximized.”

Another current CaUFC initiative is advocacy work at the state level to help our decision makers better understand the importance of funding urban forestry in our communities.

There are many benefits to CaUFC membership, including:

  • Connecting to educational workshops and resources in your region,
  • Learning about creative uses of urban forestry through regular e-newsletters, and
  • Joining the growing number of Californians who believe trees make a positive impact on our health, communities, and environment

Visit CaUFC for more information about joining and the Invest from the Ground Up campaign.

treeScience: above, beneath, and inside the plan view — a regular column on tree-related issues of interest to landscape architects in the Bay Area — is compiled by Laurel Kelly, ASLA, landscape architect at H.T. Harvey & Associates.  Laurel is also an ISA-certified arborist and Registered Consulting Arborist® 


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