Tag Archives: trees

Dead Trees | All is not lost | You can help

The emerald ash borer is certain to certain to kill ash trees in our neighborhood forest–on both public and private property. EAB is not the only threat to our trees. Many other species are taken from the urban forest for other reasons every day.

All is not lost.

Dead and dying trees are one of the neighborhood’s oldest natural resources--their wood can live on in our homes and lives if they get into the right hands at the right time.  Otherwise, they are likely to be entirely turned to chips and firewood.

You can help.
We created the “The Sustainable Atwood Neighborhood Guide to the Urban Forest” to explain what can be done to ensure timely and best uses of our dead and dying trees.
Help deliver our short guide to every home in the Atwood neighborhood so everyone will know what they can do.
  • We need 10 teams of 2-4 people. (Please create your team)
    • Saturday, April 26 (or any day convenient for your team thereafter) 
    • Team’s choice of two hour time slots between 8am-7 pm
Will you help? Reply to this message to sign up your team.
Thank you so much,
Yours for a sustainable urban forest,
~Sustainable Atwood

P.S. We are looking for a local sponsor to supply refreshments for our teams. We’d love to hear from you.

Atwood Urban Forest Fest | June 22, 2013

See one of our very own neighborhood trees milled into usable wood just blocks from where the tree, sadly, had to come down at Big Oak Childcare. Learn how our forest can become furniture and flooring, among many other important applications for home and architectural use. See a fantastic bicycle made of local wood–we saw it at Revolution Cycles and new it just had to be part of this fest! Bring your children, friends and neighbors (and your neighbors kids!). We hope to see you there!

Atwood Urban Forest Fest

Trinity Lutheran church parking lot

Saturday June 22, 2013 | 10-2pm


Congratulations! SA wins 2nd DNR Urban Forestry grant!

We got the grant!

Thanks to you…

The DNR has awarded Sustainable Atwood a second grant valued at $49,000 ($24,500 cash + $24,500 donation) for the project proposal:

EAB Readiness & Full-Cycle Response: Stewarding our Urban Forest’s Natural Resources

Sometimes public and private trees must be removed from the urban forest–because of bug, blight or circumstance. Many people would like their tree to become something other than wood chips and firewood, but few know whom to turn to. This grant seeks to connect neighborhoods, professionals, local businesses, artists and organizations to ensure the best use & practices for our trees—for the benefit of all.

Here’s a partial description of the project–a proposed publication called The Neighbor’s Guide to the Urban Forest:

Urban forests are mainly owned, not by cities, but by individuals who are largely unaware that–like drinking water, air and land—they own part of a collective resource that can bring multiple benefits when approached with best management practices. The “Neighbors Guide to the Urban Forest” will help the community understand their part in the management of the forest and, in addition, give them the information they need to make the best use of their woodland lot.

In addition to the brainstorming and networking that will go in to creating the guide, we can look forward to other ways of advancing best urban forest management and high-end-use-first practices by holding wood processing demonstrations, accompanied by teaching events, and the building and installation of Little Urban Forest Libraries, to name a few.

When calls were made in late September to find out if there was enough support to lift this project, it was clear the idea had been germinating for a while. The DNR’s grant award confirms the projects time has definitely come! Thanks to our growing list of partnerships for being game to work on this exciting endeavor in 2012! We hope youll join us, too. Watch this website for updates.

To a sustainable neighborhood AND a very Happy New Year!


Tree Inventory: faster than the bug

The inventory is going quickly. That’s good news. It means that–with continued progress–the grant money will cover the cost of the inventory. This map includes most parts of the SASY neighborhood, but not all, depending on which map one uses (there are a few out there), and all of our inventory area.  We coordinate the areas on the map between volunteers and the person performing the inventory.  The number/letter labels help communicate which areas are ready to be inventoried. We started with the parks–this was a slow go–imagine measuring the height of trees on the bank of Hudson Park at Lake Monona! Then we moved to the first residential area, #9.  Area #9 went much faster than the park areas, and was completed as of 8/5/11.  We started canvassing areas 3-6 last week and will measure those areas in the next 2-4 weeks.

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.

EAB: Challenges of an unusual project

6 month report continued…

The community has expressed interest in the EAB inventory each time weve reported or presented on it and we have acquired a good list of volunteers, but timing and readiness for public participation has been a challenge.  At our first meeting and presentation to SA in January, we came with a packed agenda and the expectation that people would be interested in helping with every facet of the project, including organizing and strategy, and that all of the components of the project would get underway at once.   Instead, we found that the busy working public needed pick-up-and-go tasks, and that the inventory itself required intricate organizing before the general public could be involved.

Another challenge, not as difficult as it is awkward, is that the information needed is on private property.  So far, almost all homeowner/neighbors we’ve talked to are interested and welcome the inventorying of their trees.  Others, understandably, are unsure.  It’s our hope that, because the project is by neighbors, for neighbors we can put any concerns to rest.

Keeping the website up to date has also been a challenge. Websites are a niche and the few volunteers that know this area well are often maxed out on their volunteer time to the community.    The work is lined up now, and by the end of the project the website is expected to be robust with information (voila, it’s up now!).

This report cant go without saying that much of the communitys attention and energy was understandably directed to events playing out at the state capital for much of the spring, including regrettable changes to our state protections of the urban and state forests.

Other than these challenges, the education and outreach components of the grant are proceeding well.