Title: Florida's urban and urbanizing forests
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091330/00003
 Material Information
Title: Florida's urban and urbanizing forests
Series Title: Florida's urban and urbanizing forests
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publisher: School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: September 2008
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00091330
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Florida's Urban and Urbanizing Forests

Urban and Urbanizing Forests is an Extension Program of the School of Forest
Resources and Conservation, IFAS/UF

Mayor's Symposium on Community Trees

and the Urban Forest in Tampa, Florida

By Dr. Michael G. Andreu and Melissa H. Friedman
UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation, GCREC Plant City Campus

Sn June 19, the Mayor's
Symposium on Community
Trees and the Urban Forest was held
at the convention center in downtown
Tampa, Florida. Over 160 city
administrators, foresters, arborists,
business groups, and citizen activists
participated in this half-day event
co-sponsored by the City of Tampa,
University of Florida, University of
South Florida, and the Hillsborough
County Extension Service. The event
was designed to share results from
the recently completed City of
Tampa Urban Ecological Analysis
2006-2007 study and to obtain
citizens' feedback for city officials to
consider during revisions to public
The meeting started with a welcome
from Hillsborough County Extension
Forester Rob Northrop, followed by
an introduction to the study from
Karen Palus, Director of the Tampa
Parks and Recreation Department-
the initiators of the urban forest
assessment. Both speakers pointed
out the importance of understanding
the role the forest plays in urban
areas with respect to its ecological,
social, and economic functions. The
Mayor of Tampa, Pam Iorio, was then
introduced and she expressed her

delight with the large attendance at
the event. She further expressed her
commitment to ensuring that Tampa
has a healthy forest and noted its
contribution to making Tampa a
premier city in Florida. Her
commitment to the urban forest was
punctuated by announcing her desire
to build a world-class city arboretum.
Keynote speaker Dr. Wayne
Zipperer from the USDA Forest
Service gave a thoughtful speech on
how urban forests are part of an
ecosystem that is composed of
interacting ecological and social
systems. He gave an example of how
New York City was faced with the
challenge of declining water quality
and how it used trees as a low cost
and low tech solution verses an
expensive and technically difficult
engineering alternative. He
challenged the audience to think

Continue on page 6

( In this issue:

The Use of Nominal 2
Groups to Understand
Community Perceptions

The Community Forest 3
Designation Program

Science Corner 4

Visiting Scholar 5


The Use of Nominal Groups to Understand Community Perceptions

By enniferA. Seitz
UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation

Community involvement in
protecting and managing urban
trees is important to ensuring this
resource remains in the community.
An understanding of the public's
beliefs and attitudes towards trees
will assist county managers,
planners, and foresters in working
with the community to maintain
urban forests. One method for
capturing community perceptions
and beliefs is through the nominal
group technique.

Nominal groups focus on controlled
brainstorming in a group setting
with limited interaction between
participants during the generation of
ideas. The facilitator sets communi-
cation guidelines by establishing
time limits, maintaining group order,
ensuring that everyone is heard, and
answering questions. Establishing
objectives, identifying stakeholders,
and determining meeting locations
are essential elements for incorpo-
rating the use of nominal groups in a

Step one is to determine your project
objectives. Ask yourself what it is
that you want to find out. Then
develop a couple of questions to ask
your participants to get the required

information. For example, to under-
stand the community's perceptions
on the benefits and costs of trees one
may ask, 'What are the benefits of
trees to you and your community?"
and 'What are the cost of trees to
you and your community?"

The second step is to identify stake-
holders through person to person
conversations, existing networks,
and internet searches. Determine
which part of your audience you
want to target Consider partnering
with the county and city offices of
neighborhood relations and the local
county extension office to obtain
contact information for your target

Lastly, determine where, when, and
how many meetings to schedule
based on your audience's location. If
your audience is scattered through-
out the county, consider holding at
least two nominal group afternoon
or evening sessions on different days
at locations central to the audience.

At the session, the facilitator
explains the purpose for the meeting
and that everyone will have the
opportunity to share their thoughts
on the topic. The next steps are
outlined below:

1. The facilitator asks a question
(e.g., What are the benefits of
trees to you and your
community?) and participants
write down all of their ideas on
a 5 x 7 inch note card.

2. The facilitator invites
participants to share one idea.
These ideas are written on and
posted to allow for everyone to

"...One method for

capturing community
perceptions and

beliefs is through the

nominal group


see. Continue this process until
all new ideas are given.

3. As a group review the ideas to
determine if any should be

4. Have each person write their top
five favorite ideas from 1 to 5 on
the backside of their note card.
Another option is to give
everyone five "sticky dots" to use
as a vote. Participants may use
their five votes for one idea or for
five different ideas.

5. When the votes are added, the
priority ideas will be ranked

6. Repeat the process for additional

Challenges to managing and dealing
with urban and urbanizing forests are
often due to people's differing beliefs
and attitudes toward trees. The
perceptions revealed in nominal
group sessions can assist land manag-
ers, planners, and urban foresters in
developing needs assessment
surveys, education materials, and
garnering community support for
urban trees.

For questions please contact Jennifer
by email at jacohen@ufl.edu or by
phone at (352) 846-2329.

The Community Forest Designation Program: Managing Our
Community Forest Landscape One Property at a Time

By Micah D. Pace, M.S., Cooperative Forestry Assist. Coordinator and Michael W Weston, Cooperative Forestry Assist. Senior Forester
Florida Division of Forestry

As Florida's landscape turns more urbanized both urban residents and rural landowners increasingly need access to
information about sound forest management practices. To date, existing forest management assistance programs have
primarily focused on larger properties and incorporated municipalities. In response, the Florida Division of Forestry
(DOF) is stepping forward to address the needs of residents who live in communities in and around forested areas. Some
of these communities are located next to undeveloped and unmanaged forested tracts, while others contain common lands
set aside for green space or to satisfy local conservation requirements.
It is important for the people who live in communities containing forests and natural areas to actively manage these
dynamic ecosystems. Over time, the desired structure of these forests deteriorate from the impacts of natural events such
as wildfires and tropical storms. Persons responsible for managing these areas need tools and incentives to undertake an
active forest management program.

A certified Community Forest has five components: ot Forest L
A Volunteer Community Forest Management Group o .
A Forest Management Plan and/or an Urban
Forest Master Plan
A Management Program for Controlling Invasive
Exotic Plants
A Wildland Fuel Management Program
An Annual Arbor Day Celebration. ... ro-,..nF. I'......".. 'T.

To achieve this objective, the DOF proudly announces its newest tool for community forest management, The Community
Forest Designation (CFD) Program. This program is designed to promote and support active management of community
forests across the landscape and provide recognition to participating communities through Community Forest certification.
The CFD Program incorporates the principles of the existing Firewise, Tree City USA, and Forest Stewardship Programs, and
tailors them to smaller residential communities containing forest land. Eligibility extends to individually owned properties
containing less than 20 acres. Homeowner associations of any size with an existing governing body are also eligible, as well
as, golf courses, other private entities, and school and college campuses who have greenspace that includes (or could
include) trees. Although the program addresses management of individual parcels, the overall goal is to encourage a
continuous forested landscape with linkages between forested parcels.
Communities will have access to professionally written management plans tailored to their community forest characteris-
tics, needs, and goals. The community may call on the DOF or knowledgeable forestry consultants for assistance in achiev-
ing the five guidelines. Once the community or group of owners feels that they have satisfied the guidelines, they can
request a DOF forester to visit the property to review for certification. Approved communities receive two Community
Forest Designation signs, a plaque recognizing their efforts, and a press release coordinated through the DOF to publicize
the stewardship efforts of the community.
Currently, the CFD is being operated as a pilot program in south Florida. Interested parties in the counties south of the
Caloosahatchee River can contact Senior Forester Mike Weston at (239) 690-3500 x 118 for more information. Those on
the east coast in Palm Beach County and south can contact Senior Forester Mark Torok at (954) 475-4194. Program
information will soon be posted on the DOF website at http://www.fl-dof.com.

Community Action in the Urban Forest

By Dr. Wayne C. Zipperer, Research Scientist
USDA Forest Service

Science Corer

In my previous columns, I have
addressed the ecosystem and
ecosystem management from the
prospective of managing ecosystem
processes for goods and services. If
you remember, an urban ecosystem is
composed of three primary
components: socio-cultural,
economic, and biophysical. In this
column, I want to focus on the socio-
cultural component, and specifically
the aspect of community action.

It is important to recognize that
urban forestry does not exist without
the socio-cultural component Urban
forestry is about people and creating
an urban environment that is
beneficial to residents, workers, and
visitors. As urban foresters, we know
how and where to manage the urban
forest for ecosystem benefits, but
what about the socio-cultural
components? A variety of socio-
cultural research conducted by
groups such as Lynn Westphall's
unit in USDA Forest Service Northern
Research Station and Frances Kuo's
program at University of Illinois and
by individuals such as Kathy Wolf at
the University of Washington and
Cassandra Johnson in the USFS
Southern Research Station, have

".. Community action
involves citizens
realizing that green
infrastructure is just
as important as the
grey infrastructure
with respect to
education, emotional
and mental well-being,
and physical health."

shown the importance of urban
forestry to our every day life.
Examples of study findings include
how green infrastructure improves
the self-esteem of youth and mothers,
reduces crime, and improves the
behavior of children with attention
deficit disorder.

Newspaper articles abound on local
groups or neighborhoods planting
trees or participating in a local tree
planting program. There is no
question that tree planting efforts are
important, but community action
efforts encompass much more.

Community action involves
citizens realizing that green infra-
structure is just as important as
the grey infrastructure with
respect to emotional and mental
well-being, physical health, and
access to education. It involves
working with local officials to
develop policies that place green
infrastructure on the same
planning and budgetary level as
the grey infrastructure. In
Gainesville, Florida, as in many
towns and cities, the tree advisory
board provides critical input on
management activities and
decisions as well as budgetary

The community is our eyes, ears,
and voice in the political arena. As
managers, we must not only grow
a strong forest, but we must also
grow a strong community support
for our work. Humans need trees
in their neighborhoods and cities,
and urban foresters need
community involvement to fulfill
that need.

Wayne can be reached by email at
wzipperer@fs.fed.us or by phone at
(352) 376-4576.

Inviting Youth to Explore ...
Con'tfrom page 1

Conservation at the University of Florida created the
Urban Forests: A Supplement to Florida's Project
Learning Tree to accompany the core guide of their
natural resource education program Florida Project
Learning Tree (PLT). While some of the PLT activities
from the main guide are well suited to being used in
urban areas, few of them convey the many benefits of
urban forests or explain strategies for protecting and
maintaining this natural resource to city residents.

Visiting Scholar

Dr. Min Zhao from Shanghai
Normal University and Fellow
at the World Forest Institute,
spent the month of June with
colleagues at UF-SFRC. She
expanded upon her research
focused on quantifying the
benefits of urban forests and
better understanding the
urban forest carbon cycle.
Dr. Zhao spent time learning
about Ecosystem Service
Models and worked to
understand field data
collection procedures.

The Supplement is based on three themes: urban forest
ecology, benefits of an urban forest, and strategies for
improving urban forest health. The booklet contains 59
hands-on activities to help youth in grades 3-8 explore
their urban environment. This document can be
obtained by downloading it for free from the Florida
PLT Web site or by attending an Urban Forest
Workshop. Additional details on both can be found at
Helping youth better understand the benefits of our
urban ecosystem through activities that encourage
critical thinking and utilization of the scientific method
can create a well-informed citizenry for the future. The
next time you receive a request to give a classroom
presentation, consider inviting the students to explore
their urban forest
Jennifer can be reached by email atjacohen@ufl.edu or
by phone at (352) 846-2329.

Let us know what topics and information you want
to see in future issues. Send ideas to Jennifer at

Photo Credits

Page 1: Melissa H. Friedman* Page 2: Larry V. Korhnak* Page 4 (Bottom): Melissa H. Friedman*, (Top) Larry V.
Korhnak* Page 5 (L column): Fred Wiechmann, Lakeland Christian School, (R column) Jennifer A. Seitz*
*contributors are from the University of Florida


Mayor's Symposium ...
Con'tfrom page 1

about their role in the urban forest and recognized that tree in the city in terms of their number of stems. Prior to
trees and forests are only part of the solution to such this study, forest managers knew this was a concern but
challenges we face with regards to water quality and were not aware of the extent of the problem. This is
quantity, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and something managers will need to address in the near
atmospheric pollution, and conservation of wildlife future.
habitat. He suggested the other part of the solution is
The last part of the symposium broke the attendees into
people, since we make choices day to day that affect these s
small focus groups. Each group discussed the issues and
forest functions.
concerns pertaining to the management of the urban forest
Then, results from the urban forest ecological they felt were most important. The groups then voted on
assessment were presented by Mr. Shawn Landry of the the list of ideas they generated and presented their top
University of South Florida and Dr. Michael G. Andreu concerns to the entire audience. Some of the ideas that
from the University of Florida. The former focused on the were generated included: storm water credits for tree
quantification of the aerial extent of the forest canopy preservation, movement from single tree management
across the city using GIS and remote sensing techniques. policies to urban forest management policies, and
Dr. Andreu and his team utilized the Urban Forest Effects developing incentive programs for invasive species
Model to quantify the structure and composition of the removal. The most common theme articulated by nearly all
urban forest, and provided economic values for carbon groups was the need for additional educational programs
sequestration and storage, pollution and energy use to raise awareness about the importance of the urban
reduction, and a replacement estimate for Tampa's urban forest to Tampa's citizens.
forest. The full report can be downloaded from our main
This event was the first in a series that will focus on urban
web site at http://sfrc.ufl.edu/urbanforestry.
web site athttp://sfrc.ufl.edu/urbanforestryand urbanizing forests in the Tampa Bay Watershed. The
The intent of these presentations was to inform the next workshop is scheduled for September 25 at the Gulf
public about the extent of our knowledge of the forest Coast Research and Education Center in Wimauma, Florida
within the city of Tampa. By establishing this baseline and will focus on linking management of urban and
citizens and leaders can better formulate strategies to urbanizing forests to water quality and quantity and the
manage the urban forest. For example, because of this health of Tampa Bay. For registration information about
study we now understand that Brazilian pepper, a non- this event email cvondrak@ufl.edu or phone
native invasive tree species, is the second most common (813) 744-5519 x 104.

Urban and Urbanizing Forests Program Sht


Dr. Michael G. Andreu Assistant Professor
Dr. Francisco Escobedo Assistant Professor "e l
Melissa H. Friedman Biological Scientist
Jennifer A. Seitz Extension Associate
E l P CityCp

"We address the issues surrounding expanding
urban areas and to understand forest

ecosystems in and around urban areas and their
multiple functions." me t
Check Out Our Web Site a s

http://sfrc.ufl.edu/urbanforestry S i

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