The planning process for the next Ten-Year Action Plan began in April 2014. During summer 2014 the team conducted an assessment of urban forestry resources and conducted in-depth interviews with 26 thought leaders. Those who were interviewed were all asked the same set of questions, prompting them to share ideas and feedback about the most significant areas of progress that UCF has made in the last decade. These ideas include: top opportunities, challenges, gaps and needs facing UCF in the next ten years; hopes for the next Ten-Year Urban Forestry Action Plan; ideas for how to engage underserved communities and others; and specific action ideas for the next Action Plan. Our team is currently working on a draft of the comprehensive Key Issues Report.
A synthesis of these interviews, combined with ideas gleaned from the broader assessment, is represented in these 14 key issues. They are not presented in any particular priority order. These key issues will be vetted and priorities through a community engagement.
To influence the next plan, please share your voice!
|Building Human Health and Welfare through Urban and Community Forestry||The next decade brings both an important opportunity and need for actively improving human health and welfare through urban and community forestry.|
|Expanding Utilization of Technology||The explosion of technologies in the last decade is expected to continue, and will facilitate important opportunities to improve urban forest development, maintenance, and health, as well as increase multiple modes of community engagement with their forests.|
|Enhancing Collaboration and Communication in the Field: Build on Existing Work and Partnerships||Increasing collaboration with allied professions, and the community at large, is both an opportunity and significant need in the coming decade.|
|Making Urban Forestry a Central Element of Community Planning at the Regional Scale||For the full range of human and environmental benefits of urban forests to be realized, cities need to be planned with trees and urban forests as a core feature of community infrastructure, instead of as an afterthought.|
|Increasing Urban Forest Health, Biodiversity and Resilience||Increasing urban forest health, biodiversity and resilience is a key need. Challenges of climate change (including pests and invasive species) will offer both key challenges and opportunities.|
|Expanding and Targeting Urban and Community Forestry Research||Research needs for the coming decade are to validate and replicate key studies; identify value-added research; and make the science accessible and relevant to leaders and educators.|
|Building Effective Leadership to Champion and Community Urban Forestry||Vocal and visible champions need to be developed in the next decade, to bring attention to the ability of urban forests to offer cost-effective solutions to critical community issues.|
|Increasing Funding for Urban and Community Forestry||As we enter the “age of the city,” funding needs to keep pace with the growth of urban forests, particularly as they are core infrastructure for sustainable and resilient communities.|
|Expanding Public Awareness, Education and Environmental Literacy||Urban forests are key infrastructure at the regional, municipal, neighborhood, and home scale across America, and public education is needed to align public perception with reality.|
|Improving Urban and Community Forestry Management and Maintenance||Maintenance is a core essential need for ensuring that urban forests deliver their full benefits, and forest design and maintenance should reflect regional soil and environmental conditions.|
|Enhancing Stewardship of Both Trees and Their Urban and Community Forests||As urban forests are growing, stewardship in future decades will not be possible without community engagement and support, including development of stewardship programs.|
|Building Professionalism and Broader Access to the Field||The demand for trained urban forestry professionals has outpaced the supply, so there is a need for more professional training programs along with increased access to the profession.|
|Increasing Diversity for Social Justice and Inclusivity||To successfully address all of the other key issues, there is an urgent need to increase diversity within the urban forestry profession as well in citizen leadership and engagement.|
|Fostering Federal Agency Collaboration and Program Improvement||As urban forestry is a core solution to so many emerging community challenges, its placement in the federal structure needs to be shifted to a more central and visible role, and collaboration with other federal agencies is urgently needed to leverage program goals and scarce resources for mutual gain.|