The District Department of Transportation’s Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) has played a significant role in building and supporting Washington Parks and People’s D.C. Green Corps job training program. The ARRA-funded program’s overall goal is to train underemployed Washington, DC residents for various entry-level career opportunities focused on improving and managing the District’s public urban forest and other green spaces. To date, two cohorts of approximately 35 paid trainees each have been successfully completed with a third underway and a fourth scheduled for next year.
For their part in this collaborative effort, UFA has provided comprehensive program oversight and funded two full-time employees to help develop, manage, and assess the job training program. In addition, UFA’s staff, including the District of Columbia’s State Forester, certified arborists, and in-house field crew, has helped develop the program’s curriculum and provide technical training to each cohort.
Trainings have included an overview of urban forestry and its ecological, economic, and social benefits; an introduction to various types of public and private sector employers in the field, including how the Urban Forestry Administration operates; tree physiology; common species identification; chain saw and other hand equipment safety and usage; proper techniques to plant, maintain, prune, and climb trees; and proper use of truck equipment, including operating an elevated bucket, safely chipping branches, and using a stump grinder.