Casey Trees Tree Advocates Program
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Casey Trees Tree Advocates Program

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Casey Trees' presentation at "Trees in All Policies" for the California ReLeaf Network

Casey Trees' presentation at "Trees in All Policies" for the California ReLeaf Network

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  • Planning & Design DepartmentInform, educate, and engage with professionals Provide public comment Offer consulting services
  • Casey Trees adopted a 40% tree canopy goalCurrent UTC = 35.8%Need to plant 216,300 trees = 8,600 trees per year*The Mayor adopted this 40% goal in his ‘Sustainable DC Plan’ in 2012
  • Casey Trees adopted a 40% tree canopy goalCurrent UTC = 35.8%Need to plant 216,300 trees = 8,600 trees per year*The Mayor adopted this 40% goal in his ‘Sustainable DC Plan’ in 2012
  • A- Our current tree canopy is 36%A+ Tree planting citywide has stabilized to about 10,000 Trees per yearB- Tree health may be threatened in the future by the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) (35% of our urban forest)F Tree protection is still a big concern
  • Increasing development is causing tree canopy loss D.C. is not protecting our existing trees D.C. is not replacing trees at the same rate that we are losing them
  • Increasing development is causing tree canopy loss D.C. is not protecting our existing trees D.C. is not replacing trees at the same rate that we are losing them
  • Use our existing assets, galvanize our volunteers and help them act Connect people to policy makers + stakeholdershold decision-makers accountable for their districtsshow officials that people care about trees
  • Meet your Arborist (refer back to lobby day afternoon at DDOE, similar strategy)How to write a public comment (shared comments received form sewer rehab and CT official public comments)Presentation of current campaigns (by TAs)Brainstorm ideas for 2014
  • Engaged and advocated with 83 volunteer advocatesAttended 23 public meetings, 3 lobby days (with 21 individual councilmember + mayoral office meetings)Submitted 14 public comments (8 by advocates, 6 by staff)Advanced 2online petitions (with 75 and 249 respondents)Created a unique Citizen Advocate HandbookCreated 2 Advocacy Briefs on current initiativesDeveloped an online advocacy platform
  • Engaged and advocated with 83 volunteer advocatesAttended 23 public meetings, 3 lobby days (with 21 individual councilmember + mayoral office meetings)Submitted 14 public comments (8 by advocates, 6 by staff)Advanced 2online petitions (with 75 and 249 respondents)Created a unique Citizen Advocate HandbookCreated 2 Advocacy Briefs on current initiativesDeveloped an online advocacy platform
  • So the reason we’ve been able to accomplish all this is becuare of our hard-working, dedicated volunteers advocates… our cadre.
  • Tree advocates:Are not official representatives of Casey Trees - which is a benefit!Are volunteering their time, showing their dedication to the issuesAre citizens of DC, speaking with their elected officials that represent their personal interestsConnect people to policy-makers and stakeholdersHold decision-makers accountable to their constituentsCasey Trees cannot do it all (paid staff does not carry as much weight as residents)Utilize our existing assets of energetic volunteersNeed to educate them on DC underworkings
  • Tree advocates:Are not official representatives of Casey Trees - which is a benefit!Are volunteering their time, showing their dedication to the issuesAre citizens of DC, speaking with their elected officials that represent their personal interestsConnect people to policy-makers and stakeholdersHold decision-makers accountable to their constituentsCasey Trees cannot do it all (paid staff does not carry as much weight as residents)Utilize our existing assets of energetic volunteersNeed to educate them on DC underworkings
  • Connect people to policy-makers and stakeholdersHold decision-makers accountable to their constituentsCasey Trees cannot do it all (paid staff does not carry as much weight as residents)Utilize our existing assets of energetic volunteersNeed to educate them on DC underworkings
  • Now, the reason that we are so confident that our advocates can attend these meetings and respectfully and intelligently ‘stand up for trees’, is because we have armed them with this citizen advocates handbook. A handbook that outlines the who’s, how’s, where’s and what’s of tree advocacy in DC.
  • Now, the reason that we are so confident that our advocates can attend these meetings and respectfully and intelligently ‘stand up for trees’, is because we have armed them with this citizen advocates handbook. A handbook that outlines the who’s, how’s, where’s and what’s of tree advocacy in DC.
  • Connect people to policy-makers and stakeholdersHold decision-makers accountable to their constituentsCasey Trees cannot do it all (paid staff does not carry as much weight as residents)Utilize our existing assets of energetic volunteersNeed to educate them on DC underworkings
  • Connect people to policy-makers and stakeholdersHold decision-makers accountable to their constituentsCasey Trees cannot do it all (paid staff does not carry as much weight as residents)Utilize our existing assets of energetic volunteersNeed to educate them on DC underworkings
  • Connect people to policy-makers and stakeholdersHold decision-makers accountable to their constituentsCasey Trees cannot do it all (paid staff does not carry as much weight as residents)Utilize our existing assets of energetic volunteersNeed to educate them on DC underworkings
  • Here is our headquarters, at 3030 12th Street NE. We are located in the Brookland neighborhood.
  • There are private residences. Remember, on these private properties, larger trees are protected by the Tree Bill (2002); based on assessments, this is the biggest opportunity area for new tree canopy
  • Other major players isDdot’s UFA. They manage the street trees within the Public Right of Way, which again, represents 7% of the canopy.
  • - Public Schools are also big stakeholders. This is also an opportunity area for new trees/larger canopy treesCasey Trees has been planting trees in DC Parks for xx years; Public school grounds + National Zoo + National Arboretum + cemeteries + reservoirs = 5% total land area of DC
  • DPR, Department of Parks and Rec holds many lands within the area.Interesting to point out here is that there are also many federally owned parks within the DC area.
  • Together, DPR+ NPS park lands = 20% of total land area of DCAs you can see here, there are some significant properties nearby to the Brookland neighborhood managed by NPS.
  • Together, DPR+ NPS park lands = 20% of total land area of DCAs you can see here, there are some significant properties nearby to the Brookland neighborhood managed by NPS.
  • Connect people to policy-makers and stakeholdersHold decision-makers accountable to their constituentsCasey Trees cannot do it all (paid staff does not carry as much weight as residents)Utilize our existing assets of energetic volunteersNeed to educate them on DC underworkings
  • Smallest governance level is the Single Member District (SMD)SMDs contain approximately 2,000 residentsEach SMD elects a representative to serve on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC)
  • ANCs provide ‘great weight’ in the local decision-making processDevelopers are often required to present their plan to the ANC Input at this local level can often change development plans and influence ANC recommendations
  • Connect people to policy-makers and stakeholdersHold decision-makers accountable to their constituentsCasey Trees cannot do it all (paid staff does not carry as much weight as residents)Utilize our existing assets of energetic volunteersNeed to educate them on DC underworkings
  • Connect people to policy-makers and stakeholdersHold decision-makers accountable to their constituentsCasey Trees cannot do it all (paid staff does not carry as much weight as residents)Utilize our existing assets of energetic volunteersNeed to educate them on DC underworkings
  • Connect people to policy-makers and stakeholdersHold decision-makers accountable to their constituentsCasey Trees cannot do it all (paid staff does not carry as much weight as residents)Utilize our existing assets of energetic volunteersNeed to educate them on DC underworkings
  • Involve our Tree AdvocatesRole Playing ScenariosMock ANC Meeting
  • Meet your Arborist (refer back to lobby day afternoon at DDOE, similar strategy)How to write a public comment (shared comments received form sewer rehab and CT official public comments)Presentation of current campaigns (by TAs)Brainstorm ideas for 2014
  • September’s Lobby day
  • September’s Lobby day
  • Omnibus Act Lobby Day
  • Councilmember began to recognize faces of recurring attendees of his meetings- called out astrid by name; and called out casey trees by name
  • Parks Master Plan public meetings
  • Save the Brookland Green Used for a local, neighborhood issue.Received many more respondents for several reasons, perhaps:Have the neighborhood support (they are telling people to sign it)It's more directed of an action (people receiving it do feel a sense of urgencyThe issue itself has received more publicity in general (aside from Casey Trees promotions)
  • Urge DC to Invest in Trees!Used for promotion of our lobby daySave the Brookland Green - Used for a local, neighborhood issue.
  • We must define our success differently. Rmember that success is first about changing the conversation, and making trees a part of the debate.
  • Even your environmental allies can sometimes become unlikely foes
  • they are at tree plantings, then you see them suited up at a lobby daythey are integral in the community – will eventually endorse and back your causeRelationships with decision-makers can be strengthened with other Casey Trees programs. Councilmembers attend plantings for good PR, photo opportunities, and constituent contact
  • they are at tree plantings, then you see them suited up at a lobby daythey are integral in the community – will eventually endorse and back your causeRelationships with decision-makers can be strengthened with other Casey Trees programs. Councilmembers attend plantings for good PR, photo opportunities, and constituent contact
  • State of the Ward 06/25September Lobby Day 09/29Saw a staff member at an advocacy action event 10/17Hosted an internal committee meeting at CT Headquarters 10/28Hosted an advocacy-relevant meeting at CT: Brookland Green 12/4Met with us personally at Lobby Day 01/27
  • intimate connections, as that is the case with all CT programs (feature them in blogs, newsletter)some of them are professionals in the field of arboriculture, planning, or design – can elevate our advocacy requests)finally, encourage them to lead groups, as our advocacy program expands and we have created “TA experts”Additionally, relationships with our volunteers can later become helpful routes into promoting our advocacy issues.One of our volunteers is an editor of a reputable blog in DC, that discusses developments, transit, etc.
  • intimate connections, as that is the case with all CT programs (feature them in blogs, newsletter)some of them are professionals in the field of arboriculture, planning, or design – can elevate our advocacy requests)finally, encourage them to lead groups, as our advocacy program expands and we have created “TA experts”Additionally, relationships with our volunteers can later become helpful routes into promoting our advocacy issues.One of our volunteers is an editor of a reputable blog in DC, that discusses developments, transit, etc.
  • intimate connections, as that is the case with all CT programs (feature them in blogs, newsletter)some of them are professionals in the field of arboriculture, planning, or design – can elevate our advocacy requests)finally, encourage them to lead groups, as our advocacy program expands and we have created “TA experts”Additionally, relationships with our volunteers can later become helpful routes into promoting our advocacy issues.One of our volunteers is an editor of a reputable blog in DC, that discusses developments, transit, etc.
  • The handbook will serve as a reference guide to the who, what, and where of tree advocacy: WHO the key stakeholders, players, and decision-makers are in the District, WHAT the local tree regulations are in the District, and WHERE you can participate in the dialogue for the protection, restoration, and enhancement of the tree canopy of the District.The handbook will also help you to prepare for attending public meetings and other hearings where you can speak on the benefits of trees. Often, however, opportunities to speak up for trees may occur organically, within an existing dialogue. Here, you will need to “think outside the box” to respond to these people in a way that speaks to the benefits of trees.

Casey Trees Tree Advocates Program Casey Trees Tree Advocates Program Presentation Transcript

  • Maisie Hughes, Director Emily Oaksford, Planning Associate Planning + Design Department Casey Trees . Washington, D.C. Local Policy: Citizen Advocate Handbook Growing Savvy Tree Advocates in the Nation’s Capitol
  • Our Mission To restore, enhance and protect the tree canopy of the nation’s capital. Casey Trees: What we do
  • Inform, Educate, and Engage Casey Trees: What we do Maisie Hughes, Director Emily Oaksford, Planning Associate Planning + Design Department Casey Trees . Washington, D.C.
  • Casey Trees: Tree Canopy Goal Urban Tree Canopy
  • 1951 2011 50% Tree Canopy 36% Tree Canopy Casey Trees: Tree Canopy Goal
  • Urban Tree Canopy Current UTC = 35.8% Need to plant 216,300 trees = 8,600 trees/year (by 2035) Casey Trees: Tree Canopy Goal
  • How we measure progress A- Our current tree canopy is 36%. A+ Tree planting citywide is about 10,000 Trees per year. B- Tree health may be threatened in the future by pests and diseases. F Tree protection is still a big concern. Casey Trees: Tree Canopy Goal
  • Tree Protection Casey Trees: Tree Report Card
  • Increasing development is causing tree canopy loss Tree Protection Casey Trees: Tree Report Card
  • 1950 = 50% 2006 = 38% 2011 = 36% Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital Redevelopment (SE DC) Tree Protection… is not working Casey Trees: Tree Report Card
  • Casey Trees: Tree Report Card 1950 = 50% 2006 = 38% 2011 = 36% Fort Lincoln neighborhood, COSTCO development (NE DC) Tree Protection… is not working
  • Advocacy at Casey Trees
  • Advocacy: What we have been doing • Provided public comment, guidance, or assistance to agencies, developers, and private-sector professionals • Taught an advocacy class at Casey Trees, ‘Stand up for Trees’ twice a year
  • Advocacy: What we wanted to accomplish • Use our existing assets ‐ galvanize our volunteers and help them act • Connect citizens to policymakers ‐ hold decision-makers accountable for their districts ‐ show officials that people care about trees
  • Training: Advocacy Program Staffing ADVOCACY PROGRAM OVERSIGHT • Planning & Design Department (Director, Planning Associate, Interns) PROGRAM ASSISTANCE • Education & Volunteer Department (Class & Event Staffing) • Communications Department (Online Presence, Social Media) OFFICIAL LOBBYIST • Executive Director, Mark Buscaino
  • Stand up for Trees Participants Volunteer advocates Public meetings Lobby days (21 individual meetings) Public comments (8 by advocates, 6 by staff) Advocacy: What we have accomplished so far (in 10 months)
  • Online letters (139, 284 responses) Citizen Advocate Handbook Advocacy briefs Online advocacy platform Advocacy: What we have accomplished so far
  • Volunteer Advocacy
  • Volunteer Advocacy: Our cadre • experienced volunteers, private citizens • work with Casey Trees staff • use Casey Trees’ materials and resources • provide grassroots support of our policy agenda
  • Volunteer Advocacy: Our cadre • not official representatives of Casey Trees • volunteering their time • citizens of DC, speaking with their elected officials Connecting advocates with the people that represent their interests! Showing their dedication to the issues! Which is a benefit!
  • • participate in Lobby Days • attend public meetings, charrettes • submit public comment or testify Volunteer Advocacy: What it takes to be a Tree Advocate  Attend ‘Stand up for Trees’  Attend 2 Tree Advocates Meetings per year  Complete 4 Advocacy Action per year
  • Inside the Citizen Advocate Handbook
  • Inside the Handbook
  • Inside the Handbook: Regulations impacting trees
  • Inside the Handbook: Regulations impacting trees
  • Inside the Handbook: Key players
  • Inside the Handbook: Key players BROOKLAND Within one neighborhood, there are many different land owners… all together we are the managers of our urban forest Casey Trees in Brookland: Northeast DC
  • BROOKLAND Private Residences District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) DC Public Schools DC Parks and Recreation (DPR) National Park Service (NPS) Stakeholders / Agencies Inside the Handbook: Key players
  • BROOKLAND Private Residences District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) DC Public Schools DC Parks and Recreation (DPR) National Park Service (NPS) Inside the Handbook: Key players Stakeholders / Agencies
  • Private Residences District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) DC Public Schools DC Parks and Recreation (DPR) National Park Service (NPS) BROOKLAND Stakeholders / Agencies Inside the Handbook: Key players
  • Private Residences District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) DC Public Schools DC Parks and Recreation (DPR) National Park Service (NPS) BROOKLAND Inside the Handbook: Key players Stakeholders / Agencies
  • Private Residences District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) DC Public Schools DC Parks and Recreation (DPR) National Park Service (NPS) BROOKLAND Inside the Handbook: Key players Stakeholders / Agencies
  • BROOKLAND Inside the Handbook: Key players Private Residences District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) DC Public Schools DC Parks and Recreation (DPR) National Park Service (NPS) Stakeholders / Agencies
  • Inside the Handbook: Political designations
  • 5B04 Inside the Handbook: Political designations BROOKLAND • Smallest governance level • Contains approx 2,000 residents • Each SMD elects a representative to serve on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) Single Member Districts (SMDs)
  • 5B 5B05 5B02 5B03 5B04 5B01 Inside the Handbook: Political designations • Provide ‘great weight’ in the local decision-making process • Developers are often required to present their plan at meetings • Input here can often: • influence ANC’s recommendations • change development plans Advisory Neighborhood Commissions
  • Inside the Handbook: Political designations
  • Inside the Handbook: Decision-making process
  • Inside the Handbook: How to advocate
  • Advocate Trainings • Stand Up for Trees (twice a year) • Tree Advocate Meetings (six times a year)
  • Training: Stand Up for Trees CLASS AGENDA Introduction • ‘The State of Urban Trees’ • ‘Working the System’ Lunch Break • Introduction of Tree Advocates • Role Playing • Mock Public Meeting Wrap Up
  • Training: Tree Advocate Meetings THEMES • Writing a Public Comment • Public Speaking • Using Social Media • ‘Meet your Arborist’
  • Advocacy Actions – Lobby Days
  • September Lobby Day Lobby Days: September Lobby Day
  • September Lobby Day Lobby Days: September Lobby Day
  • January Lobby Day on Omnibus Act of 2013 Lobby Days: January’s Lobby Day on Omnibus Act of 2013
  • Other Advocacy Actions
  • Advocacy Actions: State of the Ward Town Hall Meeting
  • Advocacy Actions: Rock Creek Park Stormwater Sewer Rehabilitation Protection of mature canopy trees will prevent topsoil degradation, reducing erosion impacts caused by construction. We recommend that DC Water prioritize the protection of large, healthy trees in selecting a sewer rehabilitation strategy. Protect the root zones of trees that will be preserved.
  • Advocacy Actions: District-wide Parks Renovation and Master Plan
  • Advocacy Actions: Zoning Commission Hearings on Green Area Ratio Mature Oak 60’ 30’ Mature Yoshino Trees should be prioritized by size at maturity
  • Advocacy Actions: Zoning Commission Hearings on Green Area Ratio
  • Advocacy Actions: Zoning Commission Hearings on Green Area Ratio
  • The Online Platform
  • The Online Platform: Current initiatives www.caseytrees.org/advocate
  • Urge DC to Invest in Trees! The Online Platform: Current initiatives 139 responses
  • Urge DC to Invest in Trees! Save the Brookland Green The Online Platform: Current initiatives 284 responses
  • The Online Platform: Upcoming actions Submit comments to DC Water and National Park Service on proposed sewer rehabilitation
  • The Online Platform: Advocacy tools Make a Public Comment Refine Your Message
  • The Online Platform: Advocacy tools Citizen Advocate Handbook online version
  • Helpful tips / Lessons learned
  • Adopt best practices from other organizations: at both local- and national- level Lessons Learned: You don’t have to re-invent the wheel
  • Lessons Learned: Be prepared for people to disagree with you
  • Lessons Learned: Be prepared for people to twist your words around Broad Branch Road Rehabilitation
  • Building and fostering relationships Lessons Learned: Local advocacy is inherently different • with decision-makers • with volunteers
  • Relationship with decision-makers Lessons Learned: Local advocacy is inherently different
  • • attended his State of the Ward address • visited his office on September ‘13 Lobby Day • attended his meeting on the WMATA development proposal / Brookland Green • visited his office/met with him for January ‘14 Lobby Day The many encounters with Councilmember McDuffie Lessons Learned: Relationships with decision-makers Volunteers:
  • Advocacy Actions: Councilmember’s Community Coffee Hour • visited his office on September ‘13 Lobby Day • attended his Community Coffee Hour in September The many encounters with Councilmember Wells 17%
  • Advocacy Actions: Councilmember’s Community Coffee Hour • visited his office on September ‘13 Lobby Day • attended his Community Coffee Hour in September • spoke with him at H Street Festival in September • chatted with him at Casey Trees Donor Event in October The many encounters with Councilmember Wells
  • Lessons Learned: Local advocacy is inherently different Relationships with volunteers
  • • attendance at all three lobby days • graduated as an official ‘Tree Advocate’ THEN… • joined the DC Sierra Club’s political committee • wrote a follow-up email to his councilmember about the mayor’s recommended changes to the Tree Bill • visited with Councilmember McDuffie, Mayor on environmental and tree-specific issues Lessons Learned: Relationships with volunteers Citizen Forester, Tree Advocate Mark Rodeffer
  • Casey Trees: Advocacy Summary • harness the energy and dedication of existing volunteer base • build direct relationships with decision-makers • be accessible to advocates as moral support • provide other resources and materials for advocates (online and in hand) to encourage independent action
  • Maisie Hughes, Director Emily Oaksford, Planning Associate Planning + Design Department Casey Trees . Washington, D.C. Thank you mhughes@caseytrees.org; 202.349.1893 eoaksford@caseytrees.org; 202.349.1892 3030 12th Street NE Washington, DC 20017