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Managing the Urban Forest to Reduce Stormwater Runoff

This resource document for Urban Foresters and Natural Resource Managers provides helpful management strategies to reduce stormwater runoff.

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Urban Forestry South focuses on technology and information that supports urban forest management, tree health, tree biology, the measurement of ecosystem benefits derived from trees in urban settings, urban nature and human health, children and nature connections, and heightening awareness of and providing information about wildland-urban interface issues in the South and nationwide.

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The Impact of Outdoor Science Instruction on Middle School Students' Understanding of the Science Process

Jul 21, 2021

The Kids in the Woods program in Gainesville, Florida delivers science instruction to middle school students through a series of hands-on activities outdoors on the school campus and in a nearby nature park. This article reports on the results of a 10-question pre-post assessment of students' knowledge of the scientific process. Participants included 201 6th grade students at a public middle school participating in the Kids in the Woods program. Students improved significantly on four of the ten questions after participation in the program, indicating that students learned important terminology related to the scientific method and how to interpret a graph. The positive results suggest that using the outdoors as a platform for science education can be a valuable tool for improving the learning experience for students.


Stormwater Credits for Trees: Case Studies from Three States

Aug 11, 2020

These case studies provide practical examples of how science-based tree credits have been developed and adopted in three different regulatory contexts: Minnesota, Vermont,and the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Case studies are adapted from the publication "Urban Forest Systems and Green Stormwater Infrastructure" by the USDA Forest Service.


Incorporating Forestry into Stormwater Management Programs

Jan 14, 2020

Stormwater utilities were interested in learning how viable urban forest systems are in helping them manage stormwater runoff, so the Water Research Foundation and U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities commissioned a study. The overall goal of this project was to document the contribution of urban tree systems to stormwater nutrient and volume control in terms of their effectiveness at various scales, cost, desirability, and practicality. An associated set of tools was developed to enable water utilities and other stormwater professionals to apply project findings, including: (1) simplified models to predict event and annual runoff reductions by urban tree canopy, (2) an urban tree cost-benefit value database, and (3) an urban forest hydrology curricula targeted to utilities to more effectively integrate urban tree systems within stormwater management frameworks.


Partnership champions nature at children's hospital

Nov 07, 2019

On August 22, the National Environmental Education Foundation partnered with the USDA Forest Service and UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, to host a Nature Champion Training in anticipation of the long-awaited Nature Explore Classroom currently under construction at Shands. This outdoor classroom, the UF Health Children’s Healing Garden, is a nature-based play and learning space designed to promote health by creating nature connections for patients, children, families and medical staff. This project is funded by the Washington Office, Region 8 and private donors. The Forest Service has a national-level partnership with the Dimensions Educational Research Foundation related to the Nature Explore program and has sponsored the building of Nature Explore classrooms at strategic locations around the country.


Urban Tree Canopy Assessment: A Community’s Path to Understanding and Managing the Urban Forest

Oct 03, 2019

An Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) assessment provides a measure of a community’s tree canopy cover at high resolution, and is often used for establishing and implementing municipal tree canopy goals as part of broader urban greening and sustainability initiatives. The USDA Forest Service has produced a new report detailing the initial steps of UTC project planning, assessment, and data analysis, including general guidelines for conducting assessments and analysis to ensure useful, quality results that can be applied in planning, management, and decision-making .The report can be accessed on the Vibrant Cities Lab, an innovative multi-faceted web platform that can help professionals, policymakers, and the public access the best available science, understand the value of investing in our urban and community forests, and take concrete steps to plant better, more effective and efficient urban and community forestry programs.


Kids in the Woods team awarded City of Gainesville 2018 Star Good Neighbor Award

Mar 27, 2019

The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs presented the Star Good Neighbor Award to the Kids in the Woods team on March 26, 2019.



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