Urban and Community Forestry

Urban and community forestry

The urban forest is the tree canopy cover above every neighborhood, town, and city in America. Trees of all shapes and sizes make up the “green infrastructure” of our communities, and provide environmental, social and economic benefits to all urban dwellers. Rigorous research demonstrates that urban trees can help solve many pressing national and community issues. The federal government has a strong incentive to nurture our urban and community forests to safeguard their continued contributions to the health, safety, energy security and quality of life of the nation’s citizens.

National NASF works with many national partners to promote sustainable cities, towns and communities including:

Federal Urban and Community Forestry Program
Since its expansion under the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1990 (CFAA), the Forest Service’s Urban & Community Forestry (U&CF) program has provided technical and financial assistance to promote stewardship of urban forests in communities of all sizes across the country. The program is delivered in close partnership with State Foresters and leverages existing local efforts that have helped thousands of communities and towns manage, maintain, and improve their tree cover and green spaces.

The Alliance for Community Trees is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1993 that is dedicated to improving the health and livability of cities by planting and caring for trees. ACTrees engages volunteers to take action to improve the environment where over 90 percent of people live: in cities, towns, and metropolitan areas.

Arbor Day Foundation 
NASF partners with the Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) on the long-standing Tree City USA program, which helps America’s communities enhance the extent and health of their urban forests. The Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with NASF members, administers an array of complementary programs, such as Tree Line USA and Tree Campus USA, designed to further advance urban forestry programs nationwide.  NASF and its members support and work with ADF on many other programs including the annual Partners in Community Forestry Conference.

International Society of Arboriculture
The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) works worldwide to promote the professional practice of arboriculture with an emphasis on education, using technology and conducting research.  

Society of Municipal Arborists
The Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA) promotes the practice of professional municipal arboriculture and public awareness of the value and benefits of properly maintained trees.  It provides networking and educational opportunities to further science based professional management. 

Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition
NASF  participates in the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition (SUFC), an alliance of foresters, arborists, city planners, non-profit leaders and others who work together to advance policies that develop the capacity for long-term management of urban forests, trees and green space. The SUFC advocates for programs that provide multiple benefits to the public, address issues at the landscape level and across jurisdictional boundaries (all lands approach); facilitate interagency coordination to protect urban forest health; advance science and research and promote urban trees and forests as green infrastructure; and support local initiatives to and maximize impacts for every dollar invested.

Utility Arborists Association
The Utility Arborist Association (UAA) is an organization of nearly 3,000 individuals with interest in and a commitment to the maintenance of trees and other vegetation. Our primary goal is to ensure the safe and reliable distribution of energy, including electric, oil, and gas, to businesses and residences.