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ReLeaf Conference, Re- tree Our Communities
The NY State Urban and Community Forestry Council's annual ReLeaf conference took place last week at SUNY New Paltz and brought together professionals, students, government officials, and interested citizens working on urban and community forestry issues across the state. CRISP was lucky enough to attend as an exhibitor and share some of our successes and lessons learned through our Community Ash Inventory Project. It was great to meet so many people who were so concerned about street trees and preserving our urban and community forests and has led to a brainstorm of ways to help communities keep the street trees they have and replant for those trees (ash) that they will so enevitably lose. The answer here as it is in so many cases is going to be partnerships. We are going to have to work with communities to make the right partnerships to bring them affordable trees to replant along their streets.
In a region where forestry is so important it should be easy to fit the right pieces together to come up with a way to get street trees to communities at cost. I recently visited a non-profit in Dallas, TX called Texas Trees that did just that. They grew trees to the right size to plant (selecting only species that did well as street trees in the blazing Dallas heat) and then sold them, at cost, to communities for planting projects. If they can do this in Texas, we should be able to do it here, where trees don't need to be watered nearly as much.