I know, you can think of plenty of things you’d rather do than count trees. We don’t blame you. But we will blame you if global warming and pollution make our neighborhood unlivable because we didn’t have enough trees to combat their effects. You don’t want that guilt, do you? Not only that, it’s actually way more fun and informative than you’d imagine. Plus civic duty, ya’ know.
Mt. Scott-Arleta is conducting their neighborhood tree inventory this summer, which is the first step in identifying gaps in the local tree system, ultimately making way for the next steps, which would be finding resources to get more trees planted. Foster-Powell did the same tree inventory last year with the help of their brothers and sisters south of Foster. Now we get to do it all over again. And by we, I mean you.
You can sign up to volunteer for any one of three Saturday workdays: July 11, August 15, and September 19; there will be one additional Wednesday workday (TBD). Team leaders are also needed, which involves a brief training this Saturday at Mt. Scott Community Center. For more information, read the press release below and/or the city’s tree inventory website.
Portland, Oregon (Month, Day 2015) – Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry and Mt. Scott-Arleta are mapping street trees this summer and creating a tree plan. The project provides opportunities for community members to learn more about tree identification and health, meet neighbors and local tree experts, and partake in developing goals for ongoing tree management.
Urban Forestry began partnering with neighborhoods in 2010 to map Portland’s street trees with the ultimate goals of connecting better to community needs and improving management of our urban forest. City-neighborhood partnerships have resulted in mapping over 100,000 trees in 26 Portland neighborhoods. This year the number will double as inventories are conducted in 20 neighborhoods, including Buckman, Centennial, Hazelwood, Irvington, King, Mill Park, Montavilla, Mt. Scott-Arleta, Mt. Tabor, North Tabor, Old Town/Chinatown, Parkrose, Parkrose Heights, Powellhurst-Gilbert, Roseway, Sabin, South Portland, Sumner, Swan Island, Woodlawn, and Vernon.
Some of the goals determined by past neighborhoods include increasing tree diversity, locating new planting opportunities, and providing community education and outreach. Past participants have formed tree teams that meet regularly to tackle tree-related concerns and serve as a resource in their communities.
Rick Faber, a local arborist who has volunteered for the project the past three years as an arborist-on-call, says he, “Likes the concept, not just because the inventory provides useful planning data, but also the fact that it gets people out of their houses and seeing nature right where they live. Nature is not found only on Mount Hood or in parks. The Street Tree Inventory allows people to take time to appreciate the nature they live in. It’s also a good starting point for neighborhood conservation and sustainability as a whole.”
Susan Oliver, a volunteer with the Street Tree Inventory, described her experience with the program: “You really take care of your volunteers – you make it easy for us to succeed, from the materials used in the inventory, to the perfect organization, to the knowledgeable floating arborists. I typically went away from the experience with more energy than when I started.”
Volunteers play an integral role in bringing the project into fruition. Team leaders and data collectors are needed to help collect and lead others in street tree inventories. Team leaders attend a training session in plant identification and commit to participating in three inventory days. Trainings will be held Saturday, June 6th at Hinson Church at 1137 SE 20th Ave., Wednesday, June 10th at Mt. Scott Community Center 5530 SE 72nd Ave, and Saturday, June 13th at Mt. Scott Community Center. Registration is free and required at http://portlandoregon.gov/parks/treeinventory.
Data collection volunteers can show up for any number of inventories and will be taught by team leaders how to identify and measure trees, determine health characteristics, and note conditions such as strip width and presence of overhead power lines. Training and materials will be provided.
The inventories will take place over 4 workdays this summer in Mt. Scott-Arleta. 3 Saturdays from 8:30-noon on July 11th at the Mt. Scott Community Center, August 15th at the Mt. Scott Community Center, and September 19th at Calvary Lutheran and 1 Wednesday from 4:30-8:00pm at Mt. Scott Community Center. All information and supplies are provided. Registration is available at the website.
About the project: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/treeinventory
About Mt. Scott-Arleta:
Mt. Scott-Arleta Tree Team
Name: Emily Rintoul