Citizen Forester Program
An urban tree inventory was identified as one of the top strategies in the Urban Forestry Section of Hawaii’s Forest Action Plan. There is no formal inventory of trees currently being used in Hawai‘i, which can hinder efforts to manage, maintain, replace trees, and plan for disasters in the urban forest. Another key strategy in Hawaii’s Forest Action Plan (FAP) is improving the public perception of the value and benefits of urban trees. The Citizen Forester program looks to address these strategies by engaging communities in their urban forests through the use of citizen science to develop an urban tree inventory.
The Citizen Forester program trains and supports community volunteers to collect urban tree inventory data. Certified Arborists support the volunteers and ensure quality control of the data. Volunteers work in small teams with a trained Team Leader to collect data. Meet-ups take place weekly or more often depending on interest and availability.
The program was piloted in 2016 in the town of Kailua on Oahu and is now expanding to new communities. Volunteers have inventoried and mapped over 5,600 trees in Kailua since June 2016 and over 1,100 trees in Honolulu since October 2017. Volunteers continue to collect data on a weekly basis as the project includes a systematic inventory of City trees in urban areas, such as along commercial and residential streets and in parks.
This is a collaborative project of federal, state, and city partners, including: the State and Private Forestry branch of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Region 5; the Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program of the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife; and the Urban Forestry Division of the City and County of Honolulu.
We’re grateful for invaluable in-kind support from several community partners including: The Outdoor Circle, the Aloha Arborist Association, Smart Trees Pacific, the UHM Campus Inventory and Landscape Mapping Project, private landscape architect firms, and independent environmental educators.
We all look forward to spending time with you in Oahu’s urban forest!
WHY MAP TREES?
Although, often overlooked – street trees are important.
Our City & State Urban Forestry Programs regulate street tree plantings, removals, tree care and maintenance which requires an accurate record of our public trees.
Kaulunani is working to improve the Hawaii’s records to show:
where our trees are located
which ones need attention
and what benefits they provide
Our inventory directly aids in city planning, environmental impact and public health assessments while increasing community awareness of the benefits of trees. We also assess areas where trees are needed the most and work to increase green infrastructure.
With an accurate inventory we are able to save time and taxpayers dollars when managing our urban forest!
(Check out all the Benefits of Trees! )
WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN
- Flexible Time Commitments
- Receive Citizen Science Certification
- Meet other like-minded Tree Lovers
- Educate the Community about the Important Role of Trees in their Neighborhood
- Gain Experience working with NGO’s & State and City Forestry Agencies
- Gain Important Forestry Skills:
- Species Identification
- How to Assess Tree Health
- How to Assess Site Condition
- How to Navigate Forestry Data and Tree Inventory Database
- Make a Difference in your Community!
Please fill out enrollment form. Missed our recent training sessions? It’s not too late! You can enroll at any time and we will mentor you. Sign up below.
TREE RELATED INQUIRIES
911 – Tree emergency (fallen tree or branch)
911 – Malicious tree damage or removal
(808) 971-7151 – Street trees- tree pruning, planting, or removal
(808) 971-7151 – Tree donations
(808) 768-8159 – Sidewalk uplift and unauthorized plantings
(808) 543-7836 – Tree interfering with voltage lines/powerlines
(808) 379-7555 – Manu O Ku Bird Hotline
For a full list of contact information organized by tree inquiry, CLICK HERE for (PDF)