March 20, 2019: Minutes from the Southern Urban Forestry Council Call

  • March 20, 2019: Minutes from the Southern Urban Forestry Council Call

  • Mary Lynne Beckley

    March 20, 2019 at 3:46 pm


    Representatives from  the Southern Urban Forest Councils met via conference call on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. eastern time.  Present on the call were Scott Woods, Tennessee; Dale Dickens, Alabama; Danielle Shasteen and Donna Hertlein, Arkansas; Sandy Temple, Florida; Mary Lynne Beckley, Georgia; and Leslie Moorman, North Carolina. 

    Leslie Moorman opened and led the call.  Leslie reminded everyone that there are four more conference calls in 2019 and invited states to volunteer to host a call and present on a topic of their choice that would benefit the group.  The next calls will be held on May 15, July 17, September 18, and November 20.  On each call, the host state will present for 10-15 minutes and open up the discussion for others to share and ask questions.  A state can also do a more formal presentation or webinar if they wish.  The purpose of the presentations will be to share successes and roadblocks in order to help each other with our missions.

    Scott volunteered Tennessee for the May 15th call.  TUFC’s new Executive Director will be on staff by that time and can join him.  Tennessee may present on their grant and arboretum programs.

    Georgia has volunteered to host on July 17 and present on cultivating and working with a collaborative board. 

    Donna volunteered Tennessee for the September 18th call.

    For this call, Leslie presented on North Carolina Urban Forest Council’s (NCUFC) partnerships and collaborations.  She said that NCUFC’s primary mission focuses on education on and advocacy for proper tree care and the benefits of trees, reaching out to the tree care industry, municipalities, and community.  She says they do a fair amount of education and advocacy outreach to general homeowners to boost their knowledge of what arboriculture and urban forestry is and why it is important to the state.  Leslie says she works with her board to make contact with all of these audiences.

    First, Leslie says that NCUFC has a strong relationship with the Cooperative Extension group in North Carolina, and always makes sure that at least one voting member or ex officio member represents that group.  NCUFC helps with them with their trainings by providing presenters at their workshops.  When NUFC presents a workshop in a county, she reaches out to the cooperative extension agent in that county, and that has helped NCUFC gain traction with audiences there.  Historically rural counties that are getting more urbanized are getting more interested in membership and becoming certified arborists.

    NCUFC also works with the North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association (NCNLA) by providing an urban forestry education track at NCNLA’s annual conference and trade show.  NCUFC doesn’t get dollars from the participation, but they do get great exposure.  And they bring vital education on topics such as soil and tree biology to the audiences there.  NCNLA, in turn, is partnering with NUFC on Spanish-language tree care instruction, which is a great need for grounds crews.

    NCUFC partners with the North Carolina Botanical Garden by providing tree education to their audiences through their educational series and their quarterly magazine.  This gives NCUF exposure outside of the tree care industry, to homeowners and avid gardeners.

    NCUFC also works with Project Learning Tree, helping educators integrate nature and the outdoors into their regular curriculum.  One thing they are endeavoring to do is to get kids involved in collecting tree data and to learn tree ID.

    Scott with Tennessee reported that his council is targeting more municipalities in becoming members and noted that the Memphis Botanical Garden has an extensive list of Homeowners Associations and Garden Clubs in Tennessee, which could help them in their outreach.  He also mentioned that there are numerous state societies that would be good to reach out to.

    Leslie mentioned that NCUFC has created several stock presentations that she shares with board members to use when they do outreach to groups in their parts of the state.

    Donna asked if Leslie could suggest and share some topics for presentations.  She then asked Leslie about her state’s efforts in raising awareness of planting native trees.  Leslie said that that is an ongoing effort, but communication with green industry groups is the key to making progress.

    Scott said that in his work in Tennessee, he has cultivated strong relationships with quality landscapers and communicated with them about the importance of native species.  That information then goes back to nurseries.  The effort , however, is challenging because of ongoing change in the nursery business.

    Georgia’s five-year-plan involves collaborating with a number of green industry associations.  Last year, the GUFC Board president presented on proper tree care to the Georgia Urban Ag Council’s meetings and wrote articles for their quarterly magazine.  GUFC’s May 22 program is on “The Urban Forest of Utility Corridors” and involves a partnership with Georgia Power.

    Alabama, Dale reported, works with utility companies and maintains a strong collaborative relationship there.  He then suggested regional development councils as well as economic development groups as excellent groups to collaborate with in urban forestry education efforts.  You may not have a contact, he says, but they do.

    The meeting was adjourned at 10:51 a.m.  The next call is May 15. 

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