Using Forest Health Assessment as a Tool for Citizen Engagement and Education

Grants and Contracts Details


We propose a two part educational program to improve both urban forest health at this site and citizen engagement with urban forest threats and management. First, citizen scientists will pilot the Forest Health Research and Education Center's newly designed forest health assessment tool to rate the health of EREC's wooded area. Through this process they will generate valuable data as LFCUG Sustainability grant Crocker and Seifert March 2016 well as better understanding of factors threatening the health of our city's trees. These findings will be immediately used to develop a management plan to address the highlighted issues at that site, likely invasive plants (bush honeysuckle and wintercreeper). Next, EREC and UK's Forestry Extension will work together to offer educational workshops and demonstrations related to invasive species removal and native plant selection. This educational programming will be paired with EREC volunteers to improve the forest health at EREC and also give Lexingtonians hands on practice in managing these issues, which can them be applied on their own property. Educational signs, explaining the management techniques used and native plants selected and invasive replacements, will be installed in the newly improved area and made open to the public at a grand opening Arbor Day 2017. This project will address the poor forest health at EREC due to invasion by bush honeysuckle and wintercreeper and, more importantly, engage and educate citizens about the importance of urban trees, the challenges facing them, and what can be done to improve their health. After the grant period has passed, EREC will undertake responsibility for maintaining invasive removal and upkeep of the improved area and educational signs. They propose doing this by offering annual invasive removal educational demonstration days, in conjunction with other local environmental education specialists, and through soliciting public and student volunteers. EREC is a UK property, however it is located near several city parks, including Martin Luther King Park, Green Acres Park, and Shadybrook Park. Because of this close proximity, the decrease in invasive seed source that this project would entail may indirectly benefit other local public and private areas.
Effective start/end date5/13/165/31/17


  • Lexington Fayette Urban County Government: $3,520.00


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