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Fall and Winter News
Campus Canopy Project in 2017    
In 2017, the Urban Tree Alliance will partner with the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) on the Campus Canopy Project to create school tree inventories and a district-wide Emerald Ash Boer Management Plan. The MMSD currently manages the buildings and grounds of more than 50 school campuses. Arboricultural decisions are made on a school-by-school and tree-by-tree basis. By collaborating with the district, the UTA hopes to provide an increasingly urgent and comprehensive EAB response to the benefit of both schools and ongoing, regional EAB management programs.

This project intends to develop a response to the Emerald Ash Boer by establishing an ash tree inventory and then formulating management priorities and strategies. The subsequent EAB management plan will outline costs for various preservation, treatment, removal, and tree replacement strategies.

The UTA has regularly worked with individual MMSD schools on tree plantings, arboricultural education, and tree inventories. We see this partnership as a way to expand our ongoing work and to supply technical assistance to a currently unmet demand for EAB management. We also look forward to the project as an opportunity to develop and offer educational programs about the EAB and local urban forestry issues.

The Campus Canopy Project is being funded with a $25,000 grant from the WI Department on Natural Resources Urban Forestry Department. This source of funding has been an essential component of multiple UTA programs through the last several years. To say the least, we appreciate the continued support and thank the department for their commitment to urban forests across the state. 
Fall School Plantings  
In tandem with developing the Campus Canopy Project, we were glad to have the chance to donate and plant 56 trees this fall at six Madison elementary schools: Lindbergh, Mendota, Lincoln, Midvale, Stephens, Muir, and Spring Harbor. Individual schools often have their own, unique ideas for trees; and it's been a pleasure to assist principals, teachers, students, and parents help realize their visions. We visited classrooms to discuss trees as part of students' research projects, helped a parent-teacher organization with some heavy lifting, and coordinated with eight classes to put some trees in the ground. Approximately 120 students were involved with these projects and got hands on experience planting trees and learning about their care.

We hope that the Campus Canopy Project (above) will serve as a basis for future plantings and fund-raising for school trees. As ash trees are inevitably depleted from the urban forest canopy and school campuses, the need for their replacement will be increasingly apparent. When we consider that schools are vital components of our urban open space system and effectively act as parks, meeting places, and sports facilities, the benefits of healthy campus canopies can be multiplied across the city.
Urban Tree to Table
Last February the arborists at Urban Tree Management (Evan and Jeremy) removed a pair of red cedar trees from a client's home in the Westmoreland neighborhood. When we're working in the field and can salvage useable logs, we generally try to re-direct them to a network of local millers. If they can move them off-site (one bur oak trunk that was removed this summer weighed around 8,000 pounds!), then they do us a service and get valuable wood in return. The log seen above took a slightly different track, though. Realizing the value of red cedar as a durable outdoor lumber, and knowing that the nearby Midvale Elementary needed a table for their newly built natural playscape, we were able to have the logs milled in to dimensional lumber and then build a table out of the urban wood. Many thanks to the Wood Cycle in Oregon, WI for milling the boards and Heartwood Tree Service for storing the wood while it dried. 
Madison Canopy Project Update
2017 promises to be a big year for the Madison Canopy Project (MCP). With significant financial contributions from the  Bock Foundation and the Madison Community Foundation, the UTA will be able to expand its planting program into new neighborhoods, while continuing work in the existing focus areas. Approximately 80 trees were planted through the MCP at private homes in 2016. We look forward to expanding upon this opportunity in the coming year. The existing neighborhoods are shown below, the expanded areas will developed this spring. We'd like to thank the organizations that made this possible, their contributions are essential to this program and future of our urban forests. 
School Forests in History
Without initially intending as much, we realized that this newsletter has a theme: schools and trees. And while the work of the UTA has recently taken a more focused approach toward working with the Madison school district, there is a precedent of school forests in Wisconsin that stretches back nearly 100 years.

From 1890-1910 Wisconsin was at the fore front of the national timber industry. During this period revenues rose 20 to 70 million dollars and production rose from nearly 1,000,000 to 3,000,000 board feet of lumber. Much of this activity occurred in the what became known as the "Cutover" region in the northern most counties. But as the name suggests, the growth was not sustainable, and a kind of "peak wood" moment was reached around 1900. From that point, revenues and production dropped at first slowly and then precipitously. 

The subsequent re-forestry efforts within the Cutover region took shape through a variety governmental programs. Among these was the establishment of the first school forests in the nation. In 1927, the state legislature permitted school districts to own, in perpetuity, a minimum of 40 acres adjacent to or near school properties for forestry purposes. State forestry extension agents then led efforts to replant and manage the wood lots. By 1932, the state had 40 school forests and 21 school plantations. Tens of thousands of trees were grown and planted through these programs. 

Our work is in a more urban environments than these pioneering school forests , but we look forward to seeing how these relationships between schools, trees, and education evolve in new contexts. It seems there are new ways to think about and act on these forest histories in Madison schools. 
Trees in the News
Tree can increase air pollution: Here.
Add energy production to a tree's eco-benefits (sorta): Here.
660 years: Here.
Thanks for another year.
We get a lot of help from volunteers, businesses, foundations, the Parks Dept., the DNR, the MMSD, the Clean Lakes Alliance, Community Groundworks, Dane County Extension, the UTA board, program participants, and others who have shown an interest in our work and the urban forest canopy. Thank you!
The Urban Tree Alliance is a non-profit organization serving the greater Madison, WI area. 

Our mission is to preserve and grow the urban forest canopy in a sustainable and innovative manner in partnership with the public.


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Urban Tree Alliance · 29 N 5th St · Madison, WI 53704 · USA

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