Meet Your Local Forester
Tree selection and care are important considerations for your Nature Explore Classroom. If you’re selecting new trees, you may want to consider factors such as ease of maintenance, or the structural elements that may draw children’s curiosity. If you have existing trees in your outdoor classroom, you may need advice on their health and maintenance.
You want to make smart decisions, but you aren’t a tree expert. We know just the answer.
Consult your local Urban Forester.
Urban Foresters (also known as City Foresters, Community Foresters, or Municipal Arborists) don’t get much press. They work steadily and quietly in the background of our towns and cities to improve and maintain the quality of our green spaces. Your local Urban Forester could be just the expert you need to assist in tree selection for your outdoor classroom, or for maintenance information on existing trees.
Local Urban Foresters, supported by State Urban Forestry Coordinators and the US Forest Service, have assisted with many Nature Explore Classrooms, and may be able to assist you with yours. They have helped in the planning process, and provided workshops for staff on maintenance. And Urban Foresters are sometimes helpful in sourcing free or low-cost trees, providing logs to incorporate into your outdoor classroom design, and identifying additional community resources.
Urban Foresters in Tree City USAs, a program sponsored by Dimensions’ Nature Explore partners, the Arbor Day Foundation and US Forest Service, have been especially helpful.
If you do not know how to contact the Urban Forester in your community, you might begin by asking for their name and contact information from your State Urban Forestry Coordinator. Here’s a link to that listing by state:
Don’t forget to thank him/her for all their care of trees in your community and be sure to invite him/her to your outdoor classroom when it is open and with children.
You just might create new champions for your outdoor classroom!