In the world of Dr. Seuss, it is the Lorax who speaks for the trees. But here in Vermont we have the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program, which trains tree stewards to, metaphorically, speak for the trees in their communities. In October, a tree forest training course will be held in Springfield.
"The Stewardship of the Urban Landscape (SOUL) Tree Steward Program trains stewards and advocates for the trees, forests, and green spaces in which we live, work, and play," the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program website states. "With 15 years of course offerings and more than 400 program participants, this educational and community leadership training is a great opportunity for Vermont citizens."
The dates for the October SOUL Tree Stewards Program in Springfield are:
- Saturday, Oct. 3, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- Wednesday, Oct. 7, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, Oct. 14, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The course will be held at the Springfield UVM Extension Office, in the Howard Dean Educational Center.
The website states the program is intended for individuals who are interested in:
- Enhancing their understanding of trees and proper tree care.
- Understanding urban forestry as a field and in the context of Vermont.
- Being part of a cohort of regional citizens who are committed to improving their community's environmental, social and economic quality through trees.
To be named a Vermont Tree Steward, candidates must complete the multi-class SOUL Tree Steward Program and commit to completing a project to enhance their community's urban and community trees and forests.
SOUL Program classes cover the following topics:
- Tree identification
- Tree biology
- Tree planting
- Tree maintenance and pruning
- Tree health
- Threats to urban and community forests
- Species and site selection: right tree for the right place
- Trees and public policies
- Tools for assessing and understanding trees in communities
- Communicating the benefits and value of trees
- Funding sources for urban and community forestry
- Working effectively at the local level
Course participants must pre-register and there is a registration fee.