Downtown Minneapolis playing catchup to the green parks system

Many cities in the world have great parks systems that were well thought out and brilliantly implemented, however the downtown street grids where often forgotten and became more arterial routes for vehicles and pedestrians. Minneapolis is about to change that with Steve Berg of the Minneapolis Post writing in a great article about the greening of Minneapolis that Park Board will plant 500 trees downtown this year to green the streets of the city that needs to attract a middle class population along with new commercial and retail businesses.

Read more at the [MinnPost.com]

San Francisco using new online tool for mapping trees

Last week the Mayor of San Francisco, announced new online tool developed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), in cooperation with Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) and the City of San Francisco, to catalogue the city’s trees.

“You can add the trees around your home, office, school, or local café to the Urban Forest Map, or you can use it to learn more about the trees in your neighborhood,” said Amber Bieg, manager of the project. “It’s like a census for trees.”

Anyone with a web browser, whether on a mobile device, laptop or desktop computer, can add information about specific trees to the Urban Forest Map, such as their location, species, size, and health. That data can then be used by urban foresters and city planners to better manage trees in specific areas, track and combat tree pests and diseases, and plan future tree plantings. Climatologists can use it to better understand the effects of urban forests on climates, and students can use it to learn about the role trees play in the urban ecosystem.

Because the Urban Forest Map is built with open-source software, and leverages the growing power of geographic information systems (commonly known as GIS tools), it will likely have uses beyond those currently envisioned. Technologists can “layer” the tree data with other kinds of geographic data to illuminate or reveal aspects of an area or region that might otherwise be overlooked.

San Francisco is the first city to use the Urban Forest Map; others are expected to follow. “Million Tree” campaigns are taking-off around the nation, and this tool enables the on-the-ground community information sharing vital to the success of such campaigns.

See the tool in action at Urban Forest Map

[SOURCE: SFGOV.com] via Inhabitat

Waynesboro to host Urban Tree Workshop

The News Leader reports

On Thursday, hundreds of arborists and other agricultural workers will flock to Waynesboro’s Ridgeview Park for a workshop about growing and maintaining healthy trees in a crowded urban environment.

The Virginia Department of Forestry and the Virginia Urban Forest Council sponsor various workshops around the state, but this is the 14th year Waynesboro will host the Plant Health Care for Urban Trees program.

SOURCE: The News Leader

Download the Registration PDF from Virginia Urban Forest Council

NY landfill parks could be open to the public next spring

New York’s two landfill parks at Fountain Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue could be reclassified as safe for public access by next spring according to a spokesperson from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The parks are currently closed as they are classified as a “significant threat to the public health or environment”.

The parks have undergone a transformation since 2004 when the first seeds were planted on the safety soil cap of the two landfill sites which were closed in 1985. Leslie Sauer, a founder of Andropogon Associates divided the parks into islands of different ecological niches with plantings representing different areas of the region with up 93% of the planting surviving.

The local residents envision various activities in the sites such as bicycle riding, performances in an amphitheater and fishing. The project has cost $200 million including the capping and planting of 33,000 shrubs and trees.

Information SOURCE: New York Times

The plight of Britain’s ancient trees – The Guardian

Patrick Barkham of The Guardian reports

Ancient trees are ecological treasures because they provide unique habitats for rare plants, insects, birds and mammals. When they become ancient, trees such as oaks and sweet chestnuts “grow down”, dying at the top and forming a new crown of leaves below so the tree shrinks and hunches like a very old man.

read the full article at the SOURCE: The Guardian – The plight of Britain’s ancient trees

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