From its initial inception in February of this year to its completion on July 20th, the Kailua Street Tree Pilot Inventory Project has proven to be a huge success. The training of Citizen Foresters to map the street trees of Kailua will increase awareness about the benefits of these trees and their importance in our ever-changing world. Organized by the Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program, with assistance from the City and County’s Urban Forestry Department and The Outdoor Circle, this program was designed to invite volunteers from around the Kailua community to engage in a two-month course that taught them how to identify trees, learn about their various properties, how to gather physical information about these specimens and finally, input all of this into a mapping program that gathers data while out in the field.
The mood amongst the group was a positive one, with all members working diligently to provide excellent data that was accurate and will allow numerous groups to have a greater understanding not only of how many trees exist in Kailua, but also the various environmental and economic benefits they provide for the community. From this data, new planting sites will also be determined to help increase the urban forest in Kailua, making this already beautiful location that much greener.
Upon the completion of the course on July 20th, these volunteers were officially recognized as Citizen Foresters and received their “Level One” certification. Moving forward, it is hoped that these Citizen Foresters will inspire members of their community to better appreciate the benefits of their urban forest and instill a desire in others to become Citizen Foresters themselves.
As a result of such a successful pilot program, it appears as if this program will continue not only in Kailua, but around the island of O’ahu and hopefully on the other Hawaiian Islands as well. If you would like to be considered for future Citizen Forester programs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Greenleaf is the online newsletter and blog of The Outdoor Circle. Here you will find updates on the projects and accomplishments of our many branches throughout the state, as well as programs with statewide impact.