City of Springfield, Illinois
On December 16-18, 2002, APWA, along with other experts from across the country, joined together in Chicago, Illinois to discuss and to determine what our nationâ€™s urban forestry needs are for the next ten years. Approximately 75 people were selectively invited to attend the National Urban & Community Forestry Research and Technology Transfer Summit, which is mandated by Congress and administered through the USDA Forest Service. This group is required to meet every 10 years with the purpose of preparing a National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Plan. This plan is to include:
A fitting buzzword that kept popping up at the summit was â€œGreen Infrastructure.â€ Certainly, our city managers and engineers have quite an extensive understanding of our â€œGray Infrastructure,â€ which includes streets, sidewalks, sewers and utilities. However, it was clearly identified that more studies and a greater understanding of our natural areas, such as parks, greenways, waterways, wetlands and wooded sites, are needed to determine the effects which pertain to the health and quality of life for our communities.
Given the experience at this summit, I am certain that many of these questions will be answered. And, although it seemed a daunting task at times to determine the urban forestry needs for our nation, I am confident and positive that our efforts will produce a brighter future for urban forestry in our communities for years to come.
For more information on the summit, please contact Mike Dirksen at (217) 789-2246.