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Compendium of Best Urban Forest Management Practices

Chapter 24. Awareness, Education and Stewardship

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One of the things that distinguish urban forestry from other branches of forestry is a close relationship with people. Any urban forestry program has to integrate people as part of the program itself. The basic components of this are an education and awareness program, an advisory urban forest committee and communication in times of emergencies (see Emergency Preparedness section). Education and awareness involves the explanation of the operational aspects of an urban forestry program. Currently, this is best handled by developing and maintaining a section on a municipal website. Within that website are bulletins or publications on management practices. An urban forest advisory committee has several purposes:

  • To act as an advisory committee of council and provide feedback to municipal staff;
  • To identify gaps in the program;
  • To help staff identify ways to fill those gaps;
  • To profile urban forestry to the community through the organization of field tours, open houses, etc.; and
  • To educate municipal politicians of the value of urban forests to the community and the need to support it.

Typically, a staff member and a municipal councillor sit on the committee; the meetings are held on a regular basis and recommendations are brought to the attention of council. Throughout Canada, there are many resources, programs and organizations dedicated to public education that focus on sustaining nature and green space in urban communities and fostering a culture of stewardship. Education is one of the most important components of urban forest management to sustain best practices for tree care throughout communities.

Bibliographical Resources:

International Society of Arboriculture (2001). Arborist’s Certification Study Guide.

League, M. (1997). Leadership Grows in the Schoolyard. Science and Children, Vol. 34 (6), pp. 18-21.

Natural Resources Queensland Government. (1999). Forest Management Education Activity Series: Role of Trees in the Environment Level Years 3-5.

Reading, J., Taven, G. (1996). Outdoor Classrooms: The Learning Links. Green Teacher, Vol. 47, pp. 29-31.


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