Date of this Version
Knott, L. 2021. Tree Programs Recommendation Report. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
We explored ways for the Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) to increase the value proposition for Tree Cities and Tree Campuses through application addendums and existing organizations.
We propose including an addition to the Tree City application for a grant awarded to Tree Cities that plant trees in underserved areas of the community.
We also recommend inviting Tree Campus to join the Alliance for Community Trees (ACT). Through membership, they will attend and participate in the Partners in Community Forestry Conference.
The Tree City program is being under-utilized in connecting resources with communities. ADF can play an advocate role in decreasing environmental inequity while strengthening brand recognition and partnerships through the implementation of this grant program. Additional resources will increase the value of each Tree City’s membership and attract more cities to join as perceived benefits increase with funding opportunities.
A major problem stagnating the growth of the Tree Campus program is the lack of value and recognition available to the current members. Our recommendation will provide these institutions with a way to network, learn, and share their devotion to trees. ACT provides a way to share knowledge and invites corporate sponsors to get involved, bringing value to Tree Campuses. Growing the planting partner network is crucial, and campuses could fill that role.
Recruiting, hiring, and onboarding a full-time Tree Program Coordinator will take six months. Proposed amendments to the Tree City application will take approximately one year to implement. 2022 will launch the new application. 2023 will be the first year of awarding grants to community members. Increases to the grant fund will occur continually.
Marketing to Tree Campuses the benefits of joining the ACT will take place over the next six months after a new coordinator is hired, given that the infrastructure for the Partners in Community Forestry Conference is sufficient. New recognition to Tree Campuses will be fully implemented by 2023.
In short, our recommendations will provide the Arbor Day Foundation with clear objectives and projects to complete in order to increase the value proposition for new and existing Tree Cities and Tree Campuses. The added value will lead to improved growth within these programs, widening the access to resources and partnerships available to ADF.