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- January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2011
- Ittleson Foundation
has contribution area
has academic priority
has USDA Area
impact statement impact
- -The project team surveyed 400 residents in Jamaica, Queens in March 2010 and 411 residents in Canarsie, Brooklyn in May 2010. -One focus group was held with 10 leaders and participants of local civic organizations in Canarsie, Brooklyn; another focus group was held with 8 community educators who reside or work in Jamaica, Queens. -More than 20 participatory, interactive and hands-on sessions were held in Jamaica, Queens and Canarsie, Brooklyn. The sessions combined presentation and discussion with neighborhood exploration and games. Sessions were tailored to different audiences and varied in length, venue (outdoors and indoors), number of sessions per group, and age of participants (adults, youth and/or combined). -The content was divided into three topic areas: Explore Your Urban Forest Exploring the Job of an Urban Forester Diversity Matters in the Urban Forest. -Partner organizations involved during planning and implementation included: Canarsie, Brooklyn: Informed Voices Civic Association, United Canarsie South Civic Association, Precinct 69 Community Council, Precinct 69 Explorers Youth Service Group, Fresh Creek Association, Hebrew Educational Society, Bay View Cornerstone Community Center, Bay View Residents Association, New York City Housing Authority, Partnership for Parks, New York City Parks & Recreation’s Natural Resources Group; NYS Senator Sampson’s Office; Brooklyn Community Board 18, Academy for Conservation and the Environment, St Jude’s Parish, Community of Light Ministries, Canarsie Branch Library, Jamaica Bay Branch Library. Jamaica, Queens: Queens Central Library, First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Biology Dept. at York College CUNY, Boys and Girls Scouts, Trees NY Citizen Pruners, MillionTreesNYC Stewardship Corps, Queens Botanical Garden. -Analysis of data findings from surveying, expert interviews, and assessments of select education sessions and participants is ongoing. A theoretical framework for the community engagement model was shared with Cornell University professors and colleagues (Dept. of Education, Dept. of Design and Environmental Analysis, and Dept. of Natural Resources); guidance was received and is being integrated into the model. -Presentations were conducted at several conferences including: MillionTreesNYC Research Symposium (March 2010; NYC); International Symposium on Society and Resource Management (June 2010; Corpus Christi, TX); 7th Annual North American Association for Environmental Education Research Symposium (Sept 2010; Buffalo, NY); 38th Annual North American Association for Environmental Education National Conference (Oct 2010; Buffalo, NY); and the Alliance for Community Trees Annual National Meeting, as part of the Partners in Community Forestry National Conference (Nov 2010; Philadelphia, PA). A manuscript was submitted to the Cities and the Environment urban ecology journal for publication. -A brochure on the health benefits of trees in urban areas was developed: http://nyc.cce.cornell.edu/UrbanEnvironment/SustainableCommunities/Forestry/Documents/CornellHealthBenefitofTrees.pdf "What Can Trees Do for Me?: The Health Benefits of Urban Trees" Media coverage included: http://www.canarsiecourier.com/news/2010-05- 27/Other_News/A_Fresh_View_On_Trees.html "A fresh view on trees." Canarsie Courier (May 27, 2010). http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/March10/MillionTreesNYC.html "CU scientists help NYC plant and care for 1 million trees." Cornell Chronicle (March 9, 2010). http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Sept10/NYCurbanforests.html "A tree grows in Brooklyn -- but with help: Project aims to enlist volunteer tree stewards in the Big Apple." Cornell Chronicle (September 29, 2010).
impact statement issue
- While there are many large-scale tree planting programs underway across the country, these programs often do not include funding to support care and maintenance of newly planted trees; as a result, a number of young trees, especially in urban areas, do not survive into maturity. There is a need for community education and resources that help enable groups, practitioners and municipal agencies connect with local residents and provide them with the tools and skills to be able to become stewards of their community’s trees.
impact statement response
- CUCE-NYC’s Urban Environment Program Area, along with Cornell’s Department of Natural Resources, initiated the first two years of a 3-year project to develop and disseminate a toolkit and resources to support urban forestry community engagement that can be used by organizations to reach and empower people to be active stewards of their community’s trees and natural resources. The project’s pilot sites are Canarsie, Brooklyn, and Jamaica, Queens. The project team conducted needs assessment activities involving residents through 1) oral interviews of the public in each pilot target neighborhood and; 2) focus group dialog sessions scheduled in collaboration with community organizations. These activities provided the team with a better understanding of residents’ knowledge and values toward urban trees and their motivations for urban forest stewardship in their community. In preparation for the needs assessment, project staff conducted preliminary surveying with practitioners and volunteers, as well as conducted interviews with experts. Based on preliminary findings from the assessments as well as initial observation/analysis by project staff, CUCE-NYC and Cornell Dept. of Natural Resources reviewed, modified and developed content to address interests and gaps in knowledge and awareness to be included in educational workshops. Topics included: the urban forest and how it functions as an interconnected system; needs of trees in different environments of the urban forest (street, backyard, park, natural area); the social, economic and ecosystem benefits of the urban forest; and how an urban forest is planned and managed. CUCE-NYC’s participatory learning activity, Neighborhood Tree Exploration, was incorporated to introduce adults and youth to elements of the urban forest in their community. Other activities covered specific related topics, such as benefits of trees, needs of trees, birds in the city, soil life, etc.
impact statement summary
- Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NYC (CUCE-NYC), in collaboration with Cornell’s Department of Natural Resources, is working with residents and community organizations to develop, implement and evaluate a 3-year social science research and education project that will result in development of an urban forestry community engagement model, toolkit and resources that will be used by organizations to reach and empower people to be active stewards of their community’s trees and natural resources.
Other private funding
- Funding in part provided by the Ittleson Foundation.
- Alliance for Community Trees; DC Partner (Alliance for Community Trees)
- Brooks, Lorraine Researcher
- Broussard, Shorna R. Researcher
- Ferenz, Gretchen S Researcher
- GrowNYC; NYC Partner (GrowNYC)
- Lambert, Veronique Theresa Researcher
- MillionTreesNYC; NY Partner (MillionTreesNYC)
- Moskell, Christine Researcher
- NYC Department of Parks and Recreation; New York Partner (NYC Department of Parks and Recreation)
- New York Restoration Project; NY Partner (New York Restoration Project)
- Trees NY; NY Partner (Trees NY)
- Tse, Caroline Researcher
- US Forest Service/NYC Urban Field Station; NYC Partner (US Forest Service/NYC Urban Field Station)
- Applied Research
- Tse, Caroline Cornell Academic Staff