Urban forest datasets
Many municipalities and counties have tree canopy assessments or urban forest master plans which clearly communicate the current state of the area’s tree canopy, goals for future growth, and maintenance needs. Both assessments and plans can help you verify your pre-employment program is in alignment with short and long-term canopy priorities, when you are working with up-to-date datasets. If your canopy assessment or urban forest master plan was done more than a decade ago, see the next section on how to advocate for the data you’ll need to create a responsive pre-employment program.
American Forests’ upcoming Tree Equity Score can help you measure how well a project, municipality or region is ensuring the benefits of urban tree canopy are reaching communities facing the greatest risk from climate change.
Climate-informed canopy projections
Has your region been affected by more extreme weather like drought, severe storms, sea-level rise, or fires? Your region may need workers in the urban forestry workforce adept at geographic information systems, so they can map and prioritize areas of high need that are susceptible to flooding or other hazards.
Aligning canopy needs with workforce skillsets
Cooling the urban heat island effect in areas with low canopy coverage may be a city priority. In that case, workers with expertise in nursery-building, identification and selection, planting, and leading volunteers in early maintenance may be best suited to your local needs.