Tree Check 2000

A UC Green/Fairmount Park Commission/ Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Tree Tenders Project

Mapping Philly's Urban Forest in University City

In June of 2000, the Tree Tenders Program of PHS's Philadelphia Green, the Fairmount Park Commission and UC Green joined in an experimental project to systematically survey the street trees of University City using trained community volunteers.

Why do a Street Tree Inventory?

The trees of our neighborhoods provide beauty, contribute to our sense of well-being, and enhance health by improving air and water quality. A street tree inventory is a record of our neighborhood's street trees by location, name and condition. With an inventory we can zero in on the most needed maintenance and target dead tree and stump removals. We can locate potential new tree sites. An inventory helps pin down an action plan and provides figures for a budget for continuing care. It gives our neighborhood and the Fairmount Park Commission the facts needed to search for additional funding sources for improved tree care and for new trees.

How does the Inventory work?

For "Tree Check 2000," the Fairmount Park Commission setup the reporting model and requirements, generated the required block maps, checked for accuracy and received the information that would ultimately be stalled in a GIS mapping system for the city to be maintained by FPC.

PHS's Tree Tenders provided the instructional materials and conducted the training sessions for neighborhood volunteers, recruited from among UC Tree Tender Groups and others with the help of UC Green.

Trained teams of UC volunteers hit the streets in July, 2000 to survey the initial project zone (see map) from 39th to 52nd Street, Spruce Street to Kingsessing Avenue. By December, 2000, over forty community volunteers had contributed to the survey and had been joined by a sizeable contingent of ecology student volunteers from Philadelphia University under the direction of their instructor, Anne Todd Bockarie. This special group of volunteers were responsible for surveying nineteen of the blocks of the project. The total area currently surveyed is shown in blue.

September 2003