Vermont Forests In Our Communities

Vermont Forests In Our Communities

FPR’s Urban & Community Forestry and County Forester Programs Connect Communities to the Trees in Their Downtowns and Backyards

As Vermonters, we’re fortunate for many things. And one of those reasons we’re lucky to call Vermont home lies at the heart of the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation’s mission: direct access to vibrant, healthy forests right at our doorsteps. Forests strengthen our community vitality, our quality of life, our environment, and our economy, and we’re proud of the work we do connecting communities to their forests both on public land and with private landowners. For many decades, our Urban and Community Forestry Program and County Forester Program have provided community support to help towns and individuals enhance and conserve their valuable forest resources for the good of the public and the environment.

The Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program works to provide Vermonters with the tools and knowledge to strengthen our conservation efforts, build community leadership, and improve local community and urban forests. Each year, the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry program assists nearly 100 communities as they work to grow their local programs, preserve and maintain their trees, and expand the benefits of their forests. By caring for the downtown trees that provide us with places to gather, connect to nature, and create healthy environments for people and wildlife, we are greening the gray, utilizing the urban forest to manage stormwater runoff, cleaning the air, conserving energy, adding vibrancy to our main streets, providing meaningful places to gather, and so much more. Check out this brochure that highlights the impact of urban and community forests and their relevance to the present and future of our downtowns, villages and neighborhoods. Learn more about the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program and take advantage of their services.

The County Forester Program offers critical support to many Urban & Community Forestry Program projects as part of its broader mission to provide forest management and forest stewardship information, technical assistance, and outreach to landowners in Vermont. The County Forester Program is focused on privately owned forestland, which encompasses more than 80% of Vermont’s forests, and a larger percentage of forestland in most of the communities in our rural state. While much of the county foresters’ work consists of one-on-one assistance to landowners or work with private foresters and loggers on a specific parcel, they also serve as local forestry experts and organize stakeholders to advance stewardship of private forestland through community-oriented efforts. These efforts take many shapes, often in response to a direct local need or opportunity. County foresters demonstrate forest management on town forests, host public workshops, and sit in with town boards to help improve understanding of local forest-related issues. Learn more about the County Forester Program and take advantage of their services in your community.