Sarah FosterAs we look forward to 2012, it is important to take a moment to reflect back on 2011. The Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) program celebrated its 20th anniversary quietly, but meaningfully. We were able to provide Community Forestry Assistance grants to 19 communities to accomplish local urban forestry goals. We also saw the completion of over 30 projects awarded in 2010; these projects expanded the health and vibrancy of Washington’s community forests in a wide variety of ways. We have applications for many great projects on our desks for review and award in early 2012, thanks to continued financial support from the USDA Forest Service.

In 2011, we also:

  • Awarded 80 communities with the Tree City USA award;
  • Named 10 Tree Line USA utilities (including our first new one in 8 years);
  • Continued to grow the new Tree Campus USA program;
  • Launched the anti-tree topping campaign in both English and Spanish; and
  • Continued to provide technical and educational assistance to Washington’s communities, non-profits, educational institutions and many other partners.

Our assistance included adding a new part-time contract staff member, Garth Davis, at the Spokane County Conservation District.

The year 2011 was great for us here at the UCF program and we wish you all the health, happiness, and vibrancy that urban forests can provide as we begin the New Year!

Sarah Foster is manager of the Urban & Community Forestry Program, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Olympia.

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