Monday, June 23, 2008

Learn to Tend Trees

Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest (FPUF) has announced its offerings of Tree Tender courses throughout the city. Tree Tenders learn to plant and care for young street trees, increasing a tree's chance of survival and prolonging their life in the urban environment. FPUF is an environmental nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the city's vitality by restoring and protecting the urban forest through community tree maintenance, planting, education, and advocacy.

According to the 2005 City of Pittsburgh Street Tree Inventory, the city has approximately 30,000 street trees, and over 3,000 of those trees have been removed due to disease, vandalism, or neglect. Thousands more trees are at risk of being removed if they do not receive much-needed care. FPUF and the City Forestry Division are working to improve the urban forest, but residents can play an important role in increasing its health and reversing its decline.

Registration for Tree Tender courses is open online at Local tree experts provide instruction, and the course covers everything from tree biology to planting and pruning. A $40 donation is requested to participate in the course, and scholarships are available. The course includes three evening sessions. Dinner will be provided at each session, and participants will receive a Tree Tender safety vest and certificate upon successful completion of the program. Participants may sign-up for continuing education workshops that cover pruning and tree identification in greater detail. Upon completion of an additional ten hours of volunteer participation at FPUF tree care and planting events, Tree Tenders will receive a pair of hand pruners.

Additionally, through TreeVitalize, a joint project of Allegheny County, the City of Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, neighborhoods with certified Tree Tenders who are able to organize neighborhood tree plantings will be eligible to receive ten or more street trees for their communities. TreeVitalize will work with community groups, nonprofits, and municipal agencies to plant 20,000 trees throughout the region by 2012.

Tree Tender Courses in Our Neighborhoods: Tuesdays, July 1st, 8th, & 15th, targeting Highland Park, Morningside, and Lawrenceville

No comments: