The Arkansas Urban Forestry Council takes an active role in increasing the public’s awareness of the value of trees. Given here are a few examples of some of the projects AUFC has been involved with. When future events are scheduled, they will be posted on the Events page. If you are interested in taking part in future projects please contact AUFC.
Tree Planting in Vilonia – A Day in the Park 2015
Nineteen people braved the mud from recent rains to plant trees at the new Soccer and Softball Complex Park in Vilonia. Arkansas Urban Forestry Council (AUFC) hosted this tree planting on May 13, 2015.
AUFC’s annual Arkansas ReLeaf project had been held in Vilonia in 2013 to replace some of the trees that were lost due to tornado damage. In 2014, another tornado tore through Vilonia, destroying the trees they had planted in Vilonia Ball Park on Cemetery Road.
The planting holes were dug by the City of Vilonia’s backhoe operator. After each hole was dug, the backhoe operator lifted the 10-foot trees into the holes, which spared tree planters from lifting the heavy trees. Chad Parnell from Verizon helped unload the trees, and Maisha Lee and Cheryl Manley from The Cellular Connection were on hand to help with the shoveling as well as numerous employees from the Arkansas Forestry Commission and members of the community. Mulch was placed around the trees to reduce weeds and water bags were used to keep the trees watered. The trees and planting supplies were made possible with funding awarded to the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council from The Cellular Connection.
Hot dogs grilled by the Vilonia Fire Department were provided for lunch. The City of Vilonia supplied condiments, chips and water and AUFC supplied soft drinks.
The tree planting was made possible by a partnership with The Cellular Connection, the Alliance for Community Trees and the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council. AUFC is a member of Alliance for Community Trees.
Planning and Building Better Communities – AUFC’s 23rd Conference
Held on March 31 at the Benton Event Center, AUFC’s biennial conference included an opening session with Benton Mayor David Mattingly and keynote speaker R. Erin Rushing of Alta Planning + Design. Rushing’s keynote, entitled “Razorback Regional Greenway,” highlighted the 36-mile shared-use trail that extends from the Bella Vista Trail in north Bentonville to south Fayetteville.
A 15-year veteran in landscape architecture, Rushing has provided design-consulting work for residential, industrial, and recreational facilities, as well as parks and recreation projects including greenway trails in Arkansas.
The conference featured breakout sessions on selecting trees to sustain tree canopies, revising tree ordinances and the benefits of tree-risk assessments. Awards were presented for the outstanding volunteer, organization and developer, among others, during its luncheon.
Vendors were Arborjet, BioForest, Fulgham’s Inc., Minick Materials, Pinnacle Arborist Supplies and University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. CEUs were available for International Society of Arboriculture, Society of American Foresters and American Society of Landscape Architects. Certain sessions were eligible for a Certification Maintenance Credit through the American Planning Association.
Partners were Arkansas Forestry Commission and USDA Forest Service.
Building with Trees Workshop 2015
AUFC sponsored the “Building with Trees” workshop on March 24 in Hot Springs. Trees are among the greatest assets in any landscape, but many building projects require environmental changes that can negatively affect these magnificent living treasures. Seventeen attendees learned from experts from the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, the Arkansas Forestry Commission and Garvan Woodland Gardens how these impacts can be managed.
Partners with AUFC were Garvan Woodland Gardens; University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service and USDA Forest Service.
Arbor Day Celebration and Arkansas ReLeaf Project 2015
AUFC holds an Arkansas ReLeaf project to assist a community in Arkansas each year by helping restore the tree canopy that was lost due to environmental impact. AUFC hosted an Arkansas ReLeaf project and Arbor Day celebration March 21, 2015 at Cline Park in Clarksville.
Mayor Mark Simpson read the Arbor Day Proclamation, and a tree was planted in the park for Arbor Day. Additional state, regional, and local representatives were on hand to participate in the Arbor Day ceremony and Arkansas ReLeaf tree giveaway. Free hot dogs were served, and shade trees were given out to area residents to replace trees that were lost due to environmental impact.
These projects are planned and coordinated with individual communities and may be used for tree plantings on public lands, environmental stewardship and tree education programs in the public schools, as well as to render assistance to communities for participating in the Tree City USA Program. The project is made possible by donations from local, state, regional, private and public entities. Additional support is provided by fundraising events conducted by the AUFC. Other communities which have benefited from Arkansas ReLeaf project include Vilonia, Arkadelphia, Clinton, Cherry Hill, Dumas, Mena, Scotland, Marmaduke and Redfield.
This event was sponsored by the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council, Arkansas Forestry Commission, Mickman Brothers, Inc., Bright Harvest Sweet Potato Company, Arvest Bank, Harps Foods, Walmart Distribution Center and the City of Clarksville.
ISA Certified Arborist Exam Prep Workshop 2014
An ISA Certified Arborist exam prep workshop was held by AUFC on November 20, 2014. This workshop was created in an effort to increase the number of International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborists in our area. It was held at the University of Arkansas Washington County Extension Service, Fayetteville.
One of the steps to becoming a Certified Arborist is to pass the ISA Certification Exam. To help attendees prepare for the exam, the workshop was designed to address those exam topics that have shown to be more difficult to pass on past ISA exams (Tree Biology, Soils and Tree Pests). Attendees were given the option of attending only the workshop, taking only the ISA exam, which was administered following the workshop, or both.
There were eighteen attendees, seven of whom took the exam. Those attendees who were already ISA Certified Arborists received ISA continuing education units.
This workshop was held in partnership with ISA; The U of A Division of Agriculture, Research and Extension; Tree Climbers Tree Service; Earthworks-Landscape Management, Inc. and Arkansas Forestry Commission.
To learn more about the benefits of becoming an ISA Certified Arborist, go to http://www.isa-arbor.com/certification/benefits/index.aspx.
Energy Conservation with Trees Workshop 2014
This workshop was designed to benefit everyone from homeowners to community planners. With 23 attendees, this half-day workshop on August 27, 2014 in Little Rock focused primarily on utilizing trees for energy conservation to improve our environment. Participants learned what research tells us regarding benefits of trees in the urban environment. Also described was how increasing tree canopy over streets, parking lots and plazas beautifies the areas as well as helping conserve energy by mitigating the heat island effect of these expansive built spaces. Sponsors were AUFC; Arkansas Forestry Commission; USDA Forest Service, UA Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service; Tree Streets; Ecological Design Group Inc.; US Green Building Council-Arkansas Chapter and The Butler Center.
Evaluating and Conserving Natural Assets Workshop 2014
At this hands-on, all-day workshop, which was held at Heifer Project International, Little Rock, on May 29, 2014, there were 37 attendees. Attendees learned how to evaluate natural assets and to develop land use plans for new development or redevelopment which protect, conserve or restore natural resources. This was the third and final workshop in the green infrastructure series of workshops, funded by a grant from USDA Forest Service through the Arkansas Forestry Commission. The first two were held in 2013 in Little Rock and in Springdale. Participants received an Arkansas guide to green infrastructure planning. Continuing education units were available for ISA Certified Arborists, American Planning Association members and Arkansas Board of Landscape Architects. Attendance certificates for other professionals were provided upon request. Sponsors were AUFC; Green Infrastructure Center; Fayetteville Natural Resources Association; Arkansas Forestry Commission and USDA Forest Service.
AUFC also sponsored Illinois River Watershed Partnership’s 2014 Sustainability Summit in Rogers, a green infrastructure workshop.
Arbor Day Celebration and Arkansas ReLeaf Project 2014
A good time was had by all at the Arbor Day Celebration and Arkansas ReLeaf project held on Saturday, March 15 at F.P. Baugh City Park in Redfield. Mayor Tony Lawhon presented the Mayoral Proclamation. Speakers were Laurie Johnson, Redfield Community Service Association, and Alison Litchy, AUFC president. AUFC volunteers included Chris Stuhlinger, Vice President and Nancy Lowe, Board member. A lovely Shumard oak tree was planted in the park in honor of Arbor Day.
Citizens of Redfield enjoyed free hot dogs and received free trees to shade their homes as part of the Arkansas ReLeaf project after the ceremony.
Arbor Day, which originated in Nebraska on April 10, 1872 is a national holiday when individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. In Arkansas, it is observed on the third Monday in March. We celebrated Arbor Day early in conjunction with our 2014 Arkansas ReLeaf project, the goal of which was to assist the Community of Redfield in recovering from tree loss caused by environmental impact.
Past projects have included helping the communities of Vilonia, Scotland, Marmaduke, Arkadelphia, College Station, Haskell, Sardis, Cherry Hill, Clinton and Mena who also lost trees due to environmental impact.
Sponsored by Arkansas Urban Forestry Council, Redfield Community Service Association, Community of Redfield and Arkansas Forestry Commission.
AUFC Partners with KLRB–Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Photographer Helps to Dig Hole for Tree Planting
AUFC partnered with KLRB on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at Western Hills Park, where more than 25 neighborhoods were involved in the cleanup and beautification of areas of Little Rock. Two trees were planted by AUFC in the park. AUFC volunteers were Nancy Dockter, Lynn Warren, Norm Berner, and Alison Litchy, who is AUFC president. Our thanks goes to Rick McFarland, photographer, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, who put his camera down to help dig the hole for the tree planting. He took this picture of Alison positioning a young red oak tree.
KLRB is a non-profit volunteer-based organization dedicated to litter prevention, recycling and waste reduction. For more information, see http://keeplittlerockbeautiful.com/events/. A full list of participants can be found there.
Bemis Tree Farm, which donated the two shade trees, was established by Tracey and Donna Bemis in 1992. They offer 50 varieties of trees up to 30 feet tall. Bemis offers watering, fertilization, and transplanting of your trees. For more information, see www.BemisTreeFarm.com.
Tree Climbing Workshop
A Tree Climbing Workshop hosted by the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council, in partnership with Tree Climbers Tree Service, Pinnacle Arborist Supplies, the Arkansas Forestry Commission and USDA Forest Service, was held in Fort Smith on November 21, 2013.
It was a great educational opportunity for those who climb trees every day and those who just wanted to learn more about the proper techniques for working in trees. The class, which started indoors, was taught by Jeremy Williams, a champion climber, ISA certified arborist and owner of Tree Climbers Tree Service. With lots of examples of equipment for everyone to see, Jeremy began with the basics, going over the safety standards for each piece of equipment. He passed around equipment that did not meet ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards to demonstrate what is and is not safe. This was followed with examples of how to set up different climbing systems with various types of equipment, from the most basic and affordable to the more advanced friction reduced systems. He had demonstrations of both SRT (Single Rope Technique) and DRT (Double Rope Technique) for climbing. The total number of attendees was 10.
The outdoor portion of the class was exciting and showcased additional skills. Jeremy covered the different riggings that he had gone over in the classroom as well as answered any questions that the climbers had from the classroom review. Some attendees brought their own gear, traded advice and practiced climbing trees in Creekmore Park after the workshop.
Continuing education units were awarded to International Society of Arboriculture members who attended the workshop.
ISA Certified Arborist Exam Prep Workshop 2013
An International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist (ISA) exam prep workshop was held in Little Rock on October 31 to help increase the number of ISA Certified Arborists in the area.
Continuing education units were available to members of the ISA who attended the workshop.
The workshop was held in partnership with ISA; The U of A Division of Agriculture, Research and Extension; and Arkansas Forestry Commission.
Evaluating and Conserving Natural Assets Workshop 2013
An “Evaluating and Conserving Natural Assets” workshop was held by AUFC in two locations in 2013, with a third workshop planned in 2014. The goal of the workshop was to teach attendees how to evaluate natural assets and to develop land use plans for new development or redevelopment which protect, conserve or restore natural resources.
Arkansas has developed a new planning tool to help localities, land trusts, conservation groups and others map and prioritize their natural assets. The hands-on workshop showed how the new mapping tool can be utilized to help communities meet environmental, regulatory and social goals.
Attendees learned how this strategic approach to land planning can help them to meet both regulatory and planning demands. It described how to use natural asset mapping and planning to boost the community’s tourism, attractiveness to companies and improve residents’ quality of life by increasing access to fitness and outdoor recreation. Examples for how to evaluate and utilize landscape features as infrastructure to create both vibrant environments and economies were provided. Attendees received an Arkansas guide to green infrastructure planning. Held at the Ottenheimer Market Hall in Little Rock on October 9 and at the Arvest Ballpark Community Room in Springdale on October 11, 2013, this workshop provided convenient locations for workshop attendees.
There were a total of 36 attendees, 5 of whom received scholarships for registration fees and mileage. Continuing education units were available for ISA Certified Arborists and Arkansas Board of Landscape Architects. Attendance Certificates for other professionals were provided upon request.
This workshop was held in partnership with the Green Infrastructure Center, USDA Forest Service, Arkansas Forestry Commission and the City of Springdale.
Designing with Trees Workshop
A “Designing with Trees” workshop designed for landscape architects, architects, engineers, city planners and arborists involved with developing green spaces in the urban environment was hosted by AUFC. Attendees learned about what to consider at the site when selecting tree species, features of native trees, how to protect existing trees during construction, how to limit runoff damage by developing positive sustainable relationships between trees and the urban environment, and the correct planting procedures that can determine a tree’s long-term health and increase its ability to become established sooner. In addition, they heard more about Fayetteville’s tree ordinances and explore the pros and cons of tree ordinances with a panel from the local communities from the Central Arkansas area. There were 35 in attendance.
Held at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in Little Rock on September 24, this workshop continued on to the next level for each topic from last year’s workshop, Environmental Design with Trees, which was in Fayetteville.
Continuing education units were available for ISA Certified Arborists, Arkansas Board of Landscape Architects, and Society of American Foresters. Attendance Certificates for other professionals were available upon request.
This workshop was held in partnership with McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc.; UA Division of Agriculture, Research and Extension; USDA Forest Service; and Arkansas Forestry Commission.
Trees Grow Your Business Workshop
This workshop was designed to explain how trees can encourage economic development by attracting businesses and visitors, which can ultimately increase a city’s tax base. Held at the Old Historic Armory in Mena on July 25, attendees learned how to develop a landscape ordinance and design streetscapes. A case study detailing a successfully implemented tree project was shared. The Tree City USA program and the benefits of urban trees were highlighted during this workshop. There were 29 attendees.
Continuing education units were available to members of the International Society of Arboriculture, Society of American Foresters and Arkansas Board of Landscape Architects.
Registration for attendees was courtesy of Rich Mountain Community College. Lunch was furnished by First National Bank of Mena. Other partners were Arkansas Regional Coalition of the Ouachitas; Downtown Partners; University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture, Research and Extension; Arkansas Forestry Commission and USDA Forest Service.
Healthy Trees – Healthy Communities Workshop
A half-day workshop was held on May 8 at Delta Rivers Nature Center Classroom, Pine Bluff, for anyone interested in enhancing his or her community with trees. This workshop was designed for homeowners, community leaders, municipal representatives, and local organizations and others who are interested in enhancing their community with trees. Basic principles were discussed about proper tree selection, planting, and care to help ensure long lives for trees. Information was provided about insects and diseases that could harm trees. Attendees discovered how trees can reduce the impacts of storm water where you live and that healthy communities depend on healthy trees. Continuing education hours were available for professionals involved in tree programs. Our partners were Delta Rivers Nature Center; University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture, Research & Extension; Arkansas Forestry Commission and USDA Forest Service.
AUFC’s 22nd Annual Conference 2013 - Note that our next annual conference will be scheduled in 2015.
AUFC hosted its 22nd Annual Conference on June 4, 2013 in Little Rock. The conference included presentations on creating effective partnerships for a higher return on investment, how to use visualization software to share ideas with partners, online resources for education in urban forestry and more. Conference attendees participated in various educational sessions to better understand how developing partnerships can assist individuals and businesses in promoting and managing urban forests. Shown at left is a speaker at the conference, Delia Haak, Illinois River Watershed Project.
At the awards luncheon, Chris Stuhlinger received the Outstanding Professional of the Year award. See Awards Page to see Chris’ picture and to learn more about awards and making nominations.
Professionals involved in tree programs received continuing education credits.
Partners were Arkansas Forest Resource Center; UA Division of Agriculture; Arkansas Forestry Commission and USDA Forest Service. Exhibitor at the conference was National Tree Preservation.
The State Arbor Day Ceremony was held at the Veterans Memorial in Vilonia before the Arkansas ReLeaf Project on March 16, 2013. Mayor James Firestone recited the Arbor Day Proclamation. Also read Arkansas ReLeaf Project below. For Arbor Day Outreach Communication, click here.
Arkansas ReLeaf Project 2013
The goal of this project in 2013 was to assist the Community of Vilonia and surrounding Faulkner County by restoring the tree canopy that was lost due to tornado damage. AUFC kicked off a state-wide Arbor Day Celebration at Vilonia on Saturday, March 16. Arkansas’ official Arbor Day is the third Monday in March. A tree planting was held on Friday, March 15, at Vilonia Ball Park. A ceremonial tree was planted at the Veterans Memorial, and Mayor James Firestone read the Arbor Day Proclamation. Kyle Cunningham, president of AUFC, Chris Stuhlinger, treasurer of AUFC, and Patti Erwin of the Arkansas Forestry Commission all spoke about the significance of the project and the celebration of Arbor Day. Citizens who were impacted by the storm received free trees and hot dogs in the Fire Department parking lot. Instructions in proper tree care were given. Eighty-seven people participated.
Participating partners of this Arkansas ReLeaf project were the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council, the Arkansas Forestry Commission, the City of Vilonia, First Security Bank, Sweet Heat BBQ, Mangan Holcomb Partners and Little Rock Urban Forestry.
Past projects were held in Arkadelphia, Haskell, Dumas, Mena, Scotland and Marmaduke.
The next Arkansas ReLeaf Project and Arbor Day Celebration location will be held in 2014.
Arborist Service Day
On September 16, 2006, the AUFC held an Arborist Service Day in Conway, Arkansas at the Conway Human Development Center, a state-managed residential training facility for people with developmental disabilities. The property consists of approximately 409 acres with numerous trees, however; they do not have the resources or manpower to do their own tree work.
Although there was a very small turnout of volunteers (15 people total), several thousand dollars worth of needed tree work for this facility was completed, due of the use of three bucket trucks, one chipper and several tree climbers.
The AUFC was represented by Chuck Daniels, Dr. Lynne Thompson, Chris Stuhlinger, and Mike Parsons. The Ouachita Job Corps Urban Forestry Division from Hot Springs furnished their bucket truck, chipper, and chainsaws along with the services of Ron VanWechel and Motak Abon, instructors; Travis Hartsell, Jordan Bland, Russell Isbell, Glenn Denton, and Dan Odell, students. Mike Parsons & Son Tree Service from Bauxite furnished their bucket truck and chainsaws along with the services of Mike Parsons, Harvey Brown and David Brewer. Quality Tree Service from Vilonia furnished their bucket truck and chainsaws along with the services of Don and Debbie Page. The Arkansas Forestry Commission was represented by Larry Nance, Deputy State Forester.