Dallas, TX Citizen Forester Program
Status: Launched in 2007
Urban Forest Advisory Committee Unveils 2008 Citizen Forester Program
City plans to train Dallas residents to preserve area trees
With spring’s arrival and the commencement of growing season, Dallas’ Urban Forest Advisory Committee (UFAC) is announcing its upcoming Citizen Forester Program for area residents interested in trees. The program, in its second year, trains citizen volunteers on how to care for and preserve the city’s trees and urban forests.
The Citizen Forester classes are a combination of classroom instruction and actual field training that enables citizens to learn basic tree skills to protect trees in their neighborhood while also advocating the importance of Dallas’ urban forests. The practical topics include Tree Identification, planting and pruning skills, and the benefits of Dallas trees.
Additionally, the program also addresses the important subject of appropriate tree plantings near utility lines— which can prevent unpopular, yet often necessary, tree prunings.
Classes will be 2-3 hours in length followed by 1-2 hours of field training. The monthly program runs from June 11 - November 12 and will be held in North Dallas at Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office on Coit Road. Later, starting September 10, classes will be held in near downtown at Reverchon Park.
UFAC is co-sponsoring the effort with the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department. The forester program is open to all area residents, no experience is required, and the cost is $75 per person. Upon completion, the City asks attendees to volunteer 25 community service hours by assisting on city tree and forestry projects. Members of both UFAC and the Parks Department will be featured speakers.
“Our goal is to reach out to citizens interested in our trees and urban forests and provide them with basic tree skills. Once equipped, these new citizen foresters can advocate the importance of Dallas’ trees and rebeautify their neighborhoods.” said Eric Larner, a UFAC member and the program’s leader.
This program is one of many things UFAC has spearheaded since the Dallas City Council created the advisory group in 2005. Since then, the committee has helped plant thousands of city trees, published a citizen tree planting guide and supported the city’s first Urban Forester. UFAC is comprised of citizens and city officials whose goal is to re-beautify Dallas with trees.