Florida Urban Forestry Council
Name: Sandy Temple, Executive Director
Organization: Florida Urban Forestry Council
Address: Post Office Box 547993, Orlando, FL 32854
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone Number: (407) 872- 1738
1. How is your Council structured?
The Florida Urban Forestry Council was formed in 1990 and incorporated in April of 1991. FUFC is an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Executive Committee, the governing and decision-making body for the Council, is made up of 24 volunteer members representing various allied organizations and other industry professionals throughout the state. The Executive Committee is supported by an Executive Director that provides contracted services (equivalent to full-time hours).
2. What type of activities or programs do you offer in a typical year?
The Florida Urban Forestry Council hosts an annual conference, which is called the Urban Forestry Institute (UFI). The UFI is typically held at a facility that is a Tree Campus USA college or university, thereby showcasing the school and providing recognition to them for their participation in the Arbor Day Foundation’s program.
Another annual program hosted by the Council is the Friends of Our Urban Forest Awards Program, which provides recognition of an Outstanding Professional, Outstanding Tree Advocate or Tree Advocacy Group, Outstanding Urban Forestry Project, Outstanding Urban Forestry Program, and a Lifetime Achievement award. Winners have their choice of being recognized at the annual Urban Forestry Institute or at an event of their choice such as a City Council/Commission meeting where recognition is provided in front of their local leaders and peers.
The Council Quarterly is the Council’s flagship publication. The Council Quarterly is a newsletter that is produced and distributed four times per year. The publication has grown immensely since inception and continues to get better and better each year.
A monthly electronic publication, In a Nutshell, is produced and distributed. In a Nutshell, provides information on activities, classes or workshops offered not only by the Council, but other affiliated organizations also. Several short informational pieces are also included in the publication.
Tree Circus (formerly known as Trail of Trees) is an educational program for elementary and middle school students where they learn about the value of trees and why we should plant more trees. The program is offered at no cost to approximately ten to fifteen schools throughout the state on an annual basis. The students learn that caring for the forest where they live is no t only good for personal health and the environment, but it’s good citizenship and enhancing individual and neighborhood character as well.
3. What is your primary funding source? Do you have any fund raising efforts underway?
The Council has been very fortunate with the primary funding source being provided by the Florida Forest Service through grants. The Council and Florida Forest Service agree on specific annual objectives to be accomplished with the grant funding that is provided.
Additional funds are received through memberships, poster sales, newsletter advertising, workshop registration fees, and individual program sponsorships. The Council’s Sustaining Sponsorship program bundles several sponsorship opportunities into one annual contribution. A minimum contribution of $1,000 is required for a Sustaining Sponsorship.
4. What is your relationship with your state forestry agency?
The Florida Forest Service provides a strong and supportive working relationship with the Council. Since inception of the Council, the Florida Forest Service has not only provided a representative that serves on the Executive Committee, but also funds Council programs and events.
5. What current legislative outreach efforts are you currently pursuing or have pursued in the past?
As a 501(c)(3) organization and operating under IRS regulations, the Council is cautious with legislative outreach efforts in order not to jeopardize our tax-exempt status. To make sure we remain within their established guidelines, our activity is limited to providing “educational” information only. All public policy issues must be addressed in an educational manner such as conducting educational meetings and/or preparing and distributing educational materials. The Council cannot ask individuals to take a position either for or against any legislative matter.
6. Do you have a web presence or offer any web-based information?
In addition to the Council’s web site (www.fufc.org), we also maintain an active Facebook page (Florida Urban Forestry Council).
The web site is used to provide pertinent information and resources related to Urban Forestry. Individuals can go to the site to sign up on-line for a membership, purchase posters, register for workshops
The Facebook page, which has been well received, is used as a tool for sharing up-to-date information regarding the Council’s programs or activities in addition to using it to promote other allied organizations and tree advocate group’s activities.
7. What type of technical assistance or tech transfer would you find most useful?
The Council’s Education Committee is currently considering offering educational webinars in order to fulfill their education objectives. At this point, the programs have not been developed, but any technical assistance or recommendation on doing this type of program would be helpful.
8. What are 3 issues/concerns you would like to see addressed through this effort of the Southern Councils?
Issues/concerns for discussion would include fundraising, engaging volunteer committee members and growing sustaining sponsorships.