Thursday, April 1, 2010


Casey Trees staff attends and presents at lot of local, regional, national and even international conferences and panels throughout the year. We encourage our team members to continually seek out innovative new ways to plant and care for trees, forge partnerships and stay abreast of Best Practices in urban forestry.

While we implement a lot of way we learn into our daily tree planting, care and education activities, we thought it would be helpful and interesting to share some highlights from these events with you so you can integrate them into your work. We believe in sharing.

As such, I introduce to you a new ongoing blog series called
Casey Trees On the Road. Whenever a Casey Trees staff member hits the road to learn something new, we will report back. There is no better person than our Deputy Director, Mike Galvin, to kick it off.


Contributing Writer - Mike Galvin, Deputy Director
Ongoing Series - Casey Trees On the Road

How to Plant a Million Trees and What Will it Get You

Now that the majority of people in the world live in cities for the first time in human history, many people are focusing on urban sustainability. If we are going to put such huge numbers of people in such small places we need to address a number of environmental issues such as air and water quality and quantity, urban heat island effect and strains on limited energy resources. Fortunately trees can play a role in mitigating these issues.

Consequently, a number of areas worldwide have launched million tree initiatives Including: New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; Mankato-North Mankato, MN; the States of Tennessee and Maryland; Tong Liao, China; and Scotland.

No to be outdone, Tokyo, Japan has a 1.5 million tree project, London, England a 2 million tree goal and the United Nations Environment Programme has a billion tree campaign!

Few of these efforts have a holistic research component that is available for sharing. MillionTreesNYC is the exception.

I was fortunate to attend the MillionTreesNYC, Green Infrastructure, and Urban Ecology: A Research Symposium on March 5th and 6th at the New School in New York City. Researchers from Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Phoenix, Stockholm, and New York City, among other cities, presented on issues ranging from assessing large-scale reforestation efforts to stormwater management to green roof hydration.

I was also very pleased that we not only had something to learn but also something to share.

Holli Howard, our Director of Geographic Resources, presented on the results of our i-Tree Eco urban forest assessment in 2009 compared to the results from our 2004 study. Both of these studies were made possible by our Citizen Foresters who collected the data and our partnership with the National Park Service. Many cities have performed a single instance of such an analysis but the District is one of few cities world-wide that has repeated the analysis to track changes in its urban forest. Casey Trees has pledged to spearhead such an analysis every five years.

The expertise shared at the MillionTreesNYC symposium will be invaluable to us as we work toward implementing our own 40% by 2035 Urban Tree Canopy Goal (this works out about a quarter of a million trees for DC). We are very grateful to NYC Parks, the New York Restoration Project and the US Forest Service Northern Research Station for their leadership and willingness to share their experiences. Our efforts will be more successful for it.

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