EAB: Challenges and achievements of the inventory

The blog below is part of a 6 month report on the progress of our DNR grant to inventory the SASY neighborhood trees.  From this blog, scroll down to see what other ways we’ve worked with neighbors on this project. 

R-L Sean Gere, Melanie Foxcroft, Marla Eddy, Sam Meier, Elizabeth (DNR intern), Ed Jepsen, Phil Townsend, Sandy River, Eric Mosher, Donna Magdalina

The achievements and challenges of the inventory have been one and the same with the excellent partners working on the project.  Sean Gere of Gere Tree Care, Inc. and Phil Townsend of the University of Wisconsin Wildlife and Forest Ecology department are experienced, dedicated stewards of the urban forest and work on several professional and volunteer fronts, so coordinating schedules was tricky. Scheduling aside, their work has been vital for technical decisions, establishing qualifications and expectations for the intern, evaluation of the intern pool, posting the job description, interviewing candidates, providing equipment, making arrangements for irregular employees, estimating and updating time necessary to complete the inventory and oversight of the inventory data collection and entry.

City of Madison Engineering, Maps Division created maps including streets and addresses on black and white with an aerial underlay. The maps will be used to mark completed areas, match progress of inventory with movement of volunteers, and to provide a plotting instrument for the data collected.

After several months of preparation, the inventory was kicked off with a publicized event at the Yahara River Parkway June 13, 2011, 12:00 pm.   The first tree located at the head of the parkway was a mature ash.  As of June 29, 2011, the Yahara parkway, parks and bike path within the project area have been inventoried.  We are preparing to inventory trees on private properties. To accomplish this, we are starting with a pilot run at the southwestern end of the area, matching volunteers to the streets they live on or nearby.  Volunteers will talk to each household about the project and a time frame for the arrival of the GTC employee; give them our flyer and additional information if desired. Volunteers will soon be followed by GTC. After our pilot, well re-evaluate our approach, make corrections/additions to the flyers, MGE will print the remaining flyers and well proceed with the inventory throughout the neighborhood, section by section.

We are on schedule and even hopeful the inventory will be completed sooner than expected.

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