Neighborhood and Nonprofit Urban Forestry: Results of a 5-City Study — International Society of Arboriculture

Neighborhood and Nonprofit Urban Forestry: Results of a 5-City Study (#35)

Jess Vogt 1 , Shannon Watkins 2 , Sarah K Mincey 2 , Burnell C Fischer 2 , Sarah Widney 2 , Rachael Bergmann 2 , Lynne Westphal 3 , Sean Sweeney 2
  1. Environmental Science and Studies, College of Science and Health, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, USA
  2. Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
  3. U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station, Evanston, IL

Trees in urban areas provide ecological, economic, and social benefits to urban residents, and urban communities may plant trees with the intent of increasing these benefits. Few studies have examined the success of urban trees in the ecological and social context in which they are planted and grow. And even fewer have considered potential social benefits to community groups who partake in tree planting. This presentation will discuss the results of a 5-city study of urban nonprofit tree-planting programs. We gathered extensive data about tree planting projects occurring in neighborhoods between 2009 and 2011 in cooperation with 5 nonprofit members of Alliance for Community Trees: Trees Atlanta (GA), The Greening of Detroit (MI), Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (IN), Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (Philadelphia, PA), and Forest ReLeaf of Missouri (St. Louis, MO). This study collected information about the planted trees and their growing environment using the Planted Tree Re-Inventory Protocol and about maintenance practices and other community dynamics gathered through interviews and surveys of residents in neighborhoods in which trees were planted. By using a unique multi-city dataset that combines information on planted trees, nonprofit programs, individual planting projects, land use, and neighborhoods and neighborhood residents, this presentation will start to answer two questions: (1) What factors influence the survival of recently-planted urban trees? and (2) What are the social outcomes of participation in neighborhood and nonprofit tree planting for the community?