Jennifer Lennox, The Davey Tree Expert Company | Shaun Preston, City of Baltimore, Department of Recreation & Parks–Forestry | Patrick Plantenberg, Townsend Tree Board | Alexis Neukirch, University of Iceland
Why are we here? The Award Winning Townsend Tree Board has been beautifying Townsend–one tree at a time since 1990! We will be 30 years old in 2020 and we are excited to be at Partners to share our story. Volunteer Urban Forest management won’t work for most cities, but some of our volunteer programs may be useful to other communities. So listen up!
Let’s set the Stage: Townsend is in southwestern Montana on the east side of the continental divide. Townsend is 35 mi from Helena; 60 mi from Bozeman Elevation: 3,800 ft Population 2,000 USDA Hardiness Zone 4b Located at the junction of US Highways 12 and 287.
These were the only trees on the two Highway corridors through the business district in 2004. City employees hate parks and trees! Large trees had never been pruned since they were planted! City was offered a million dollar landscaping project along the Highway287 corridor through town in 2000 and said no because the city crew would have to maintain it! See our problem?
How did volunteer management get started? Two small high priority landscaping projects funded by grants and installed by volunteers in 1997 and 2003 set the stage for change. Then a County Resource Assessment in 2004 identified a Priority: Beautify Highway Corridors through town. City is politically very conservative-they want no new taxes! City maintenance crew does not want any new work! The Tree Board found our niche and we got started.
Have to get youth involved. -High School Construction Technology Classes made our Tree Cages and Landscaped Areas at School, etc. -Horticultural and Ag Classes Prune Young Trees on Campus But we also use handicapped personnel.-Scott Eckhardt has been the hardest and most dependable worker on the Tree Board since 2012. -Linda Southall teaches about trees and organizes the Arbor Day Poster Contest at School each Year and is our photographer.
Getting Started? Built Partnerships Started Small-Built Trust Jokingly made Tree Board a Lifetime Membership! -Set up Tree Board Advisory Council to increase public participation Got Training Did Tree Inventory in 2005 with students Identified Work Plan Prioritized Projects Tooted Our Horn!
When this happened we said: Ah Huh! Armed with the tree inventory we went to City Council-said we can reduce your risk over 5 years! Got first budget $20,000 in 2006: To Reduce Risk, Hired Contractor to Prune/Remove Large Trees for 5 Years @ $5K/YR, Grind Stumps, Started Right Tree/Right Place Program. In 5 years we removed/pruned over 125 high risk and undesirable trees for $25K!
Removed hazard trees and many additional trees with utility company contractors in alleys under powerlines. -Made same Mistake as many other Communities- Planted lots of Small Stature Trees to Replace Large Canopy 1st Generation Trees. -Now Planting Larger Species such as the Dutch Elm Disease Resistant Elms, and other Medium to Large Trees that total less than 10% of the Trees in our Inventory.
Kept Promises- Did Good Work - Maintained Projects Have put in 1,000-2,000 Volunteer Hours/yr! Increased Tree Diversity from 19-65+ species -Doubled Number of Public Trees -Average City in MT has 1 public tree for 3 people-Townsend has 1 for every 2 people!
Did Canopy Analysis in 2009: Recommendation from consultant: Plant at Least 1 Private Tree for Every Tree Planted on Public Property. -Lack of Nursery and Landscapers created Opportunity Started Purchasing Extra Trees and Selling to Private Citizens. -Tree Sales and Planting Services to Private Citizens now Pay for Next Year’s Trees! And we don’t have to water and maintain those damn trees! Planting at least 3 Private: 1 Public.
Created a Monster! -Can get all Money needed for Planting-Get Minimal Amount for Maintenance -We Prune up to 200 Young Trees / Year -Rent 50-ft man-lift to Prune/ Remove Large Trees in February for $2,300/month. -Prune / Remove some Private Small and Large Trees and Ask for Donation. -Money Made Pruning / Removing Trees helps Pay for Man-lift Rental, and other costs.
- Located in In Rain Shadow of the Elkhorn Mountains Precipitation: 10-12”/yr Hire a senior citizen to water trees from April 1-through freeze up (November 1) In 2019, Hired Part-Time Senior Citizen to Water our new 710 new trees at a cost of $13/tree! -City doesn’t fund Program-Tree Board does from Tree Sales and our Planting/ Pruning Services!
Made money selling and planting trees and pruning for private citizens. City Slashed Budget! No good deed goes unpunished! -Now Buying Over $10,000 worth of Trees every Year Selling for Cost Plus 20%. -Now selling over 100 Trees / Year to Other Cities and Towns in Montana that can’t get Species that we can get from Large Wholesale Nurseries.
Use of Volunteers is Important Especially in Small Underfunded Communities. But liability concerns are stopping lots of volunteer programs and that is a shame! -Training and safety are essential. -Tree Boards need stabilizing influence such as NRCS, USFS, Extension, or State UCF employee to carry Tree Board over the lean years. -Townsend needs to hire a full-time person to do Parks and Manage the Urban Forest
Manager of Public Relations
The Davey Tree Expert Co.
Baltimore City’s Camp Small
Urban Wood Utilization and the Zero Waste Initiative
Shaun Preston, Yardmaster
Camp Small—City of Baltimore, MD
Camp Small – established 1861
• Cleared as a Civil War camp to secure
the ammunition supply route
• City’s ‘Stump Dump’ since the early
• Estimated annual removal costs of
$60k. In 1994, $350k
• No program in place to capture value
from the materials
The Zero Waste Initiative
• Awarded $98k through Baltimore City’s Innovation fund
• Intended to capture higher value from collected materials