Urban forestry project creates jobs

Volunteers pull English ivy
DNR-managed projects can provide jobs and supplement the efforts of volunteers—seen here pulling invasive English ivy—to help restore and improve urban forests in Washington state. Photo: DNR

The Urban Forestry Restoration Project is an exciting opportunity for communities to improve the health of our urban forests in the Puget Sound Basin and southwest Washington. The project helps communities improve the health and functionality of trees which, in turn, enhances the ability of urban forests to manage stormwater, improve water quality, and store carbon.

DNR is providing assistance to local governments that want to improve the health of their urban forests. The project is starting in Clark, King, and Pierce counties–other cities or counties may also apply for the same types of projects.

DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program will provide crews from Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) and Puget SoundCorps to assist city and county governments with urban forestry activities that help restore urban forests. Projects will be developed collaboratively with Puget Sound Basin communities and ranked according to the measurable benefits to water quality and Puget Sound restoration.

Cities, towns, and other counties in the Puget Sound Basin and southwest Washington may apply for project assistance on a first-come, first-served basis until December 31, 2012, or until the time of the three available crews’ is fully committed, whichever comes first. DNR administers the project and provides the crews.

Activities in the projects may include:

  • Control of non-native, invasive plants that out-compete native plant species or interfere with proper ecological function,
  • Planting native vegetation in natural areas or open spaces to enhance ecosystem function,
  • Expansion of urban canopy cover by planting trees according to existing community plans,
  • Structural training of young trees on developed sites for improved tree soundness and public safety, or
  • Other maintenance and management actions that benefit the health of urban trees.

Local partners must supply the materials and additional services required for their projects. These include:

  • All permits necessary for the project work,
  • Plants for revegetation or tree-planting,
  • Herbicides for invasive plant control, if necessary,
  • Disposal of plants and other materials removed during restoration activities, and
  • Other materials necessary for project completion.

All projects must be completed by June 30, 2013. For more information, visit the Urban Forestry Restoration Project online, send an email to Micki McNaughton or call her at (360) 902-1637.

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