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Sarah Foster, Manager, DNR Urban & Community Forestry Program.

September brings the change from summer to fall, and as the seasons change, we have some big changes for the Urban Forestry Team. I’ve accepted a promotion, and will be stepping away from the Urban & Community Forestry (UCF) program… but not stepping very far.  I will be the Assistant Division Manager for Fire Prevention, Camps, and Community Assistance. UCF is one of the programs in that group, so I will still be very much involved. I’ve been with the UCF program for 14 years, and the program manager for 12 of those. I’m excited about my new opportunity, but will miss working with all the amazing communities and partners on a day-to-day basis.

My time here has been fulfilling, exciting, and challenging. When I joined the program in 1999, we had 30 Tree City USA communities and how we are at 83 (plus new programs of Tree Line USA and Tree Campus USA have been developed). We’ve funded over $2 million in Community Forestry Assistance, Urban Initiative, Tree Inventory, and Tree Planting grants, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service. These projects have given communities the chance to develop and grow programs that will ensure Washington has strong, vibrant urban forests. We’ve celebrated the passage of the Evergreen Communities Act, and been challenged with the budgetary limitations of its implementation.

It’s been a tremendous time to be involved in urban forestry in Washington, and I see nothing but continued growth in the future. Linden Lampman will be the acting Urban Forestry Program Manager until we can make plans for the future of the program. We are both excited about new opportunities but know it may have an impact in our ability to provide technical assistance to our community partners for the next few months.

Thank you all for your support over the past 14 years. We wouldn’t have a program if it wasn’t for the support of all our community, non-profit, educational and I look forward to continuing to support the UCF program’s growth and success.

AUGUST Coordinator’s Corner

Do you need help with native restoration? We’re happy to announce that more communities can now take advantage of the skills and labor of the Washington Conservation Corps/Puget SoundCorps. These work crews, who have aided projects in several communities in the Puget Sound area and Southwest Washington, will continue to take on project for another year.

Local project proposals for crew time from October 1, 2013, through September 30, 2014, are now being accepted. Proposals may be submitted through December 31, 2013; however, the earlier that you submit your proposal, the more likely that assistance (one to three crews) will still be available.

Crews will be located in east King County, Thurston County and Southwest Washington, enhancing our ability to provide this service to a broader range of communities. Crew time is valued at approximately $5,000/week—a significant addition to your Tree City USA budget, by the way. Look online for more information and the application form. Make your trees happy—apply for crew time today!