Tree canopy and natural areas in and around cities makes up what is referred to as the urban forest.Urban trees provide myriad environmental, social, and economic services. These benefits include shade and heat reduction, improved business and traffic calming, increased property values, habitat, jobs, fresh air and clean water, to name a few. Some of these “ecosystem services” can be measured and monetized through data collection and analysis.
Street trees are important community assets and we need an accurate record of our street trees.
Where are they? Which ones need maintenance? What benefits are they providing? Where can we plant, and what species? Which trees are a risk or need preventative maintenance? What will this all cost?
This work aids in city planning and environmental impact and public health assessments. An accurate inventory saves time and taxpayer dollars when managing our urban forests.
This program engages citizens in urban tree identification using an online mapping application and provides critical data to help cities on Oahu manage and enhance the urban forest and benefits we all receive.
Citizen foresters are trained by certified arborists. The CFP started in 2016 as a pilot project in Kailua and has expanded to more areas.
CFs are going a long way towards addressing the need for improved understanding and acceptance of Urban trees. They are ambassadors trained to advocate for the trees.
See our CF's in action in Kailua and check out all of the trees they have inventoried in the City.
Partners: Smart Trees Pacific, The Outdoor Circle, Master Gardeners, & Aloha Arborist Association, funding from U.S. Forest Service
Tree Plotter is a web-based, mobile software for mapping, analysis, data management, reporting, and outreach. It works on any web-enabled device (smartphone, tablet, computer) through your web browser (Chrome, Safari, etc.).
A wealth of information can be collected on each tree. This includes species, diameter, height, condition, risk, land use, address, conflicts, observations, and maintenance needs. Users can search (filter) and create reports and maps.
Users without an internet connection on their device can use the “offline” mode and sync data when back on Wi-Fi.
Admin users can verify that the species entered is correct. Photos can be added to the tree record to help confirm, and are visible to the public.
See more at TreePlotter.com
The CFP creates connections between citizens and cities, developing improved mutual understanding. New groups using the app include young adults and Scouts. The program is being expanded across O’ahu.
Kaulunani is a federally-funded Program of the Division of Forestry & Wildlife and managed in partnership with the nonprofit organization, Smart Trees Pacific. We work in Coalition with the City’s Division of Urban Forestry and other community partners.
To become a Citizen Forester, please contact Smart Trees Pacific at http://www.smarttreespacific.org/