It’s springtime in our Nation’s Capital, and one of my favorite organizations, Casey Trees, is enlisting community volunteers to help restore the tree population one tree at a time.
Casey Trees specially trains local volunteers, known as “citizen foresters”, to lead groups of community tree planters and build awareness about the importance of urban forests. I’ve been planting with Casey Trees for three years, and I’m proud of what we accomplish together every single time (for empirical evidence, refer to glorious tree planting image).
Of course, tree planting is just one part of Casey Trees’ mission. The next step is to ensure that the tree actually survives and provides the maximum overall benefits for the environment.
Over the last few years, Casey Trees has worked with community members, high schools, and other organizations to catalog the DC tree population and asses tree mortality. These community-based tree inventories use the latest geographical information systems (GIS) technology to build a database of tree information and track vital statistics about each tree that is planted.
GIS mapping allows Casey Trees expert staff to visualize data in new ways that may reveal previously unknown patterns, relationships, and trends. The more trees that citizens help to plant and inventory, the more information Casey Trees has to analyze.
How can you help? First, check out the Casey Trees project page and see if you’re interested in joining as a citizen volunteer. You can also take part in upcoming tree inventories or even organize a tree inventory of your neighborhood. If you’re you not in the DC area, search our project database to find other tree-related projects.
Get started today! There is nothing more satisfying than planting a tree, especially when you can help promote scientific inquiry in the process!