Undergraduates Inform NJ Municipalities on Urban Forestry Program Guidelines
Under the supervision of Dr. Jason Graboksy and Pam Zipse and at the behest of the New Jersey Forest Service, two EENR undergraduate students, Ryan Schmidt and Brianna Casario, spearheaded the creation of a set of proposed inventory guidelines for beginning, improving, and established urban tree inventories in New Jersey communities during the summer of 2020. With the intent of ensuring consistent collection of inventory data across the hundreds of communities within the state, the team worked to create both a glossary of well-defined terms to improve the communication within and between distinct communities and a rigorous set of inventory guidelines applicable to all of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities. This suite of adaptable, sliding-scale collection criteria has direct applications to the state Forest Service’s management plan guideline update which will include a section on tree inventory data collection. The work done by Ryan and Brianna provides information for municipalities on how to advance their individual urban forestry programs and is especially useful for establishing individualized early-stage programs.