Tag: SFI

Waukesha County, WI, Urban Wood Program Among SFI Community Grant Recipients

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) announced 13 SFI Community Grants today featuring collaboration between 63 partner organizations in the United States and Canada, including two that dovetail with the development of a new SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard.

One of SFI’s grants supports, “Promoting Urban Forestry and Harvesting Waste Wood,” a project being undertaken by Waukesha County, WI, to complete its urban forest management plans for wood that must be removed due to disease, pests, or other circumstances. This project is led by the Sustainable Resources Institute (SRI), which will help share this work so that other communities can benefit in their urban tree lifecycle planning processes.

SFI awarded a second urban forest grant to the Michigan State University Department of Forestry for its program Supporting Curriculum on Urban Forests, Carbon Storage, and a Changing Climate. MSU, through its work with SFI, will expand course content on forest carbon to create case-study-based materials for foresters, planners, builders, and decision-makers in cities and municipalities. The climate benefits linked with sustainable forest products and green buildings will also be featured.

“SFI’s commitment to making better choices for the planet also means better choices for its people,“ said Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of SFI. “Our grantees are leaders in their communities and we look forward to collaborating with them on so many important issues that will strengthen local communities and support solutions to important sustainability challenges.”

Other SFI grant recipients include:

Project Learning Tree’s (PLT) Forest Literacy Framework, which translates the complex language of forests, trees, forest practices, and sustainable forest management into accessible concepts that everyone should know and be able to integrate into their lives and careers. PLT is an initiative of SFI that provides activities for educators, community leaders, and families, including its flagship resource the Explore Your Environment: K-8 Activity Guide. The guide engages kindergarten through grade 8 students in exploring their environment through 50 field-tested, hands-on activities that integrate investigations of nature with science, math, English language arts, and social studies. There are more than 800 workshops across the U.S. every year organized to train educators on implementing PLT, and contributing to building a lifetime of learning for youth to build a green career pathway. The SFI Community Grants advance SFI’s education work with projects targeted at both youth and adults:

Teacher Tours in New Hampshire—The New Hampshire SFI Implementation Committee is bringing teachers together for a four-day workshop featuring forest and mill tours in July. Teachers will learn about the PLT curriculum, sustainable forest management, and forest products manufacturing, in order to engage students in learning about the natural world.

Creating Climate Training Module for Wood Producers—The Quebec SFI Implementation Committee will develop an interactive, user-friendly training module on climate change mitigation for wood producers that will align with the requirements of the SFI Sustainable Forest Management Standard which was launched on Earth Day this year.

Forest Literacy and Education on Forest Certification Standards—The Association forestière de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue will be engaged in learning opportunities focused on forest certification standards and the benefits of sustainable forest management, delivered to local schools and through in-person events at public libraries. Elevating forest literacy will help create better understanding around the connections of forests to solving sustainability challenges.

Sustainably Managed Forests Training for Architecture Students—Students at the University of Miami School of Architecture will experience timber harvesting in a sustainably managed forest. This will provide hands-on experience of the sustainable nature of forest-based supply chains and the emerging influence of forest products, such as mass timber, on climate-smart building design.

Community Training to Enhance Wetland Conservation Through Sustainable Forest Management—Ducks Unlimited Canada will provide training and resources to forestry students and Indigenous communities across Alberta to ensure better understanding of the role of sustainable forest management in effective wetland conservation.

Using Forestry and Natural Resources to Educate and Empower Women—Clemson University is helping to address the future that women landowners will play in sustainable forest management through this project. The Women Owning Woodlands (WOW) network will facilitate specific skills development for women landowners including chainsaw and pesticide safety.

Creating Equity in the Mississippi Forest and Conservation Sector—Working with the Mississippi Forestry Foundation, this project will involve outreach to new workers, military veterans, and dislocated workers as a way to increase every Mississippian’s opportunity and ability to join the forest sector’s green job workforce.

Promoting Understanding and Respect for Cultural and Medicinal Plants—The shíshálh Nation, SFI and other partners are building on an earlier grant to increase the cultural capacity of shíshálh members, support self-determination in the shishalh swiya (territory), and promote cross-cultural learning through providing cultural plant identification cards to local forest sector companies.

Creating Forest Career Pathways for Students—Friends of the Trinity County Resource Conservation District and Nor-Rel-Muk Wintu tribal members are working together to select locally tailored curriculum and produce high school field guide workbooks focused on Indigenous land stewardship, sustainable forestry, and related green career pathways to benefit the local workforce.

Engaging Citizen Scientists to Map the Birds of Newfoundland’s Sustainably Managed Forests—Birds Canada is engaging citizen scientists to deliver the province’s first breeding bird atlas to map the distribution and abundance of all breeding bird species in Newfoundland. Having solid baseline data about the distribution, abundance, and health of bird populations is essential for sound conservation and management decisions.

Creating Youth Advocates for Community Greening and Climate Action—SFI will work with the Medway Community Forest Cooperative in Alberta to plant tree saplings and conduct tree-health assessments over two years to engage younger generations as environmental champions who take local action on global issues.

SFI Community Grants are awarded for collaborative community-based projects, activities, or events that support SFI’s efforts to connect communities to forests. Projects supported have included providing educators with tools to showcase green career pathways for students, incorporating Indigenous knowledge into forest management planning and education curriculum, and building youth engagement in outdoor education and conservation projects. Since the SFI Grants started in 2010, SFI has awarded 96 Community Grants totaling more than $900,000 to foster community-building projects. When leveraged with project partner contributions, that total investment is over $5 million. Learn more: forests.org/communitygrants.



SFI Commits to Developing Urban Forestry Sustainability Standard

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) announced the launch of a partnership to develop a new SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard for application in North America and potentially globally. SFI will collaborate with five urban forestry leaders: American Forests, Arbor Day Foundation, the International Society of Arboriculture, the Society of Municipal Arborists, and Tree Canada.

“The SFI network is looking forward to collaborating with our urban forestry partners to promote the establishment of sustainable urban and community forests that meet local needs, while meaningfully contributing to national, bi-national, and global initiatives such as the 2 Billion Tree initiative in Canada or through regional and global initiatives such as the World Economic Forum’s 1t.org,” said Kathy Abusow, SFI’s President and CEO. “Together, with these leaders, I’m confident SFI will positively contribute to urban forestry initiatives across North America and globally.”   

“Urban forests are not just scenery — they are life-or-death infrastructure for our cities in a changing climate,” said Jad Daley, president and CEO of American Forests. “We must achieve tree equity our cities so that everyone has the vital benefits of trees for health, climate resilience, and economic vitality. We need all strategies employed to make this happen, including urban wood utilization, which can help address systemic economic barriers to urban forest management. We are thrilled to have the SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard as a new tool for the urban forest movement, and to see Paul Johnson named as an ideal leader for SFI’s urban efforts.” 

Urban and community forestry involves both planning and management of the urban forest because the right tree, planted in the right place, in the right way, promotes the many benefits trees provide for people, wildlife, and climate. Community trees and forests provide many social and environmental benefits including, improved health and well-being, social cohesion and accessibility, outdoor learning environments, climate change solutions, reduced air pollution, and improved urban design.

SFI’s commitment to developing an urban and community forestry standard goes beyond the launch of this new partnership, it is also embodied in the decision to create a new staff position: Director of Urban and Community Forestry. Paul Johnson assumed this new role on March 15. Johnson brings over 20 years of urban and community forestry experience and deep connections to an international network of partners to his new role. As Johnson always says, “Trees are key to healthier, happier, safer communities.”

SFI, along with its partners, will set up a task group composed of leading experts to develop the new SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard. The partnership and task group will explore opportunities to seek remedies for the climate crisis and other serious challenges that urban forests are ideally positioned to help address, including access to public spaces, social cohesion and more. Individuals interested in serving on the task group should contact Johnson at 202-719-1389; paul.johnson@forests.org.

About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.
SFI advances sustainability through forest-focused collaborations. We are an independent, non-profit organization that leverages four interconnected pillars of work: standards, conservation, community, and education. SFI works with the forest sector, conservation groups, academics, researchers, brand owners, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, Indigenous Peoples, and governments. Collaborating with our network, we leverage SFI-certified forests and products as powerful tools to help solve sustainability challenges such as climate action, conservation of biodiversity, education of future generations, and sustainable economic development. Learn more: forests.org.

About Arbor Day
Founded in 1972—the centennial of the first Arbor Day observance—the Arbor Day Foundation is the largest 501(c)3 nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. More than 1 million members, supporters, and valued partners have helped us plant more than 350 million trees in neighborhoods, communities, cities, and forests throughout the world to ensure a greener and healthier future for everyone. Our vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, a changing climate, deforestation, poverty, and hunger. The impact we make on our world is accomplished through our conservation and education programs. We work to restore forests, improve tree cover in communities, and inspire the next generation of tree planters to ensure this important work endures. Learn more: arborday.org.

About Tree Canada
We are the only national non-profit organization dedicated to planting and nurturing trees in rural and urban environments. Through our programs, research, and educational efforts, we have helped restore tree cover in areas hit by natural disasters, guided communities in managing their urban forests, helped green 700 schoolyards, and organized urban forest conferences. To date, with our community partners and sponsors, we have planted more than 83 million trees. Learn more: treecanada.ca.

About American Forests
American Forests is the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the United States. Since our founding in 1875, we have been the pathfinders for creating healthy forests from coast to coast. In the early 1900s, for example, we rallied forest advocates to champion creation of the U.S. Forest Service. In 2018, we won a decade-long campaign persuading Congress to provide stable funding for preventing and fighting forest fires. Now we are focused on building a reforestation movement in America, from cities to large, rural landscapes. We all rely on forests to survive and thrive, given the power they have to filter our air and water, provide jobs, mitigate climate change and more. But our forests are being degraded and destroyed at a rapid pace and large scale. If we take care of our forests, they will take care of us. Learn more: americanforests.org.

About the International Society of Arboriculture
Through research, technology, and education, the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) promotes the professional practice of arboriculture and fosters a greater worldwide awareness of the benefits of trees. This is our passion and serves as our mission statement. ISA exists so that professionals, allied professionals, public officials, and consumers worldwide recognize the economic, environmental, and societal benefits and values of trees and their care at a cost that demonstrates the wise stewardship of resources. Learn more: isa-arbor.com.

About the Society of Municipal Arborists
Founded in 1964, the SMA is an organization of municipal arborists and urban foresters. Our membership also includes consultants, commercial firms, nonprofits, tree boards, tree wardens, allied professionals, and citizens who actively practice or support some facet of municipal forestry. A professional affiliate of the International Society of Arboriculture, the SMA has members from across North America and beyond. Through our magazine, City Trees, our conferences, our website and our many active members, we strive to create networking and educational opportunities that promote the sound, professional management of a vital and invaluable resource. Learn more: urban-forestry.com