Check out this talk given by one of our own amazing volunteers, Lynn Richardson!
Biodiversity Begins at Home: A Pioneering Project in Durham's Woodcroft Subdivision
The precipitous decline in biodiversity is not only a problem in the Amazon—it’s happening right here in our own back yards. Learn about a Durham subdivision’s pioneering committee that is working to increase use of native plants and control invasive plants in the neighborhood’s common lands and yards.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Register here: Biodiversity Begins at Home: A Pioneering Project in Durham's Woodcroft Subdivision
Every year the Forest Service goes into forests across the country to see what kinds of trees are growing. Using this information, they created a data set called the "Forest Inventory and Analysis" data set. When I was in graduate school at Duke we utilized the Forest Inventory and Analysis data a lot... and now its accessible to everyone! This website allows you to look at what kinds of trees are growing in forests near you, and how it has changed over time. Be warned- its pretty dense, forestry stuff!
Forest Inventory & Analysis One-Click Fact sheet
Readers interested in exploring the forestry statistics about their home state may enjoy this Forestry Inventory & Analysis Factsheet. The resource provides "a brief overview of forest resources in each state based on an inventory conducted by the FIA program in cooperation with each State forestry agency." Factsheets were created using data from the USDA Forest Service's Forest Inventory and Analysis database. To explore the data, toggle over the map and click on a state, or use the dropdown bar in the lower left-hand corner to select a state from the alphabetized list. A link at the bottom of the page also provides a text-only version of the site. Once users have selected a state, they will be able to analyze and download state-specific data, including forest land ownership statistics, acreage estimates, and usage of forest resources. Readers should note that the data used were collected between 2016 to 2019, with data added as the site is updated. Those interested in archived versions of the data can find information under the Backpage tab.
Last time it was drawing, now its listening... check it out!
Tree Podcast: YourForest
Guided by a desire to better understand the natural world, inventory forester Matthew Kristoff launched Your Forest in 2017. The podcast is structured as a conversation between Kristoff and guests, who discuss "the things [they] love about the natural world and [their] work to protect and preserve it." In doing so, Kristoff hopes to "challenge our ideas of sustainability," and push listeners to think about the reasons for and results of our actions towards our planet.
Recent episodes have covered the scientific stories housed in tree rings (see Episode 82, "Travel Back in Time with Trisha Hook") and the impact of wetlands on maintaining healthy ecosystems (see Episode 81, "Bogged Down with Ducks Unlimited: National Boreal Program").
As of this write-up, there are more than 80 episodes are available. Installments range in length, but are typically over an hour. Readers can find the full collection of episodes at the link above or on popular streaming services such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher.
Do you want to take your botanical drawings to the next level? If so, check out this new resource: Botanical art and artists: How to draw and paint leaves and trees
Nature is a source of inspiration for many artists, but how scientifically accurate are the depictions? As the collection's name suggests, "How to draw and paint leaves and trees" provides "tips and techniques for how to draw and paint botanically correct trees and leaves."
Whether you are an amateur artist or a seasoned professional, you will find resources to support your artistic endeavors. Scrolling down the page, visitors will find information on famous botanical artists, suggested books on botanical art, and a plethora of embedded videos walking individuals through drawing and painting trees and leaves while maintaining botanical integrity.
To easily navigate to the videos section, users can click the "Video TIPS - Drawing and Painting Leaves" link in the green box at the top of the page. Videos cover topics such as "Painting Leaves in Different Seasons" and "How to Paint a 3D Leaf." The site was created by Katherine Tyrrell in 2015, who credits her background in education as inspiring her "to support those who want to learn about botanical art and illustration."
Urban Forestry Toolkit
Close your eyes and try to picture yourself in the middle of a forest.
Where are you? Perhaps you are in Brazil's Amazon Rainforest or California's Redwood Park, or maybe Pittsburg, Pennsylvania's Urban Forest?
While traditional notions of forestry often exclude urban settings, the Urban Forestry Toolkit provides resources to bring tree canopies to cities. The resources within the toolkit "are designed to help community managers and advocates in jurisdictions of all sizes to determine their current situation and be guided through a process at their own pace to reach goals of comprehensive urban forest management."
The toolkit's 17 steps take users from start (Assess) to finish (Sustain). Each step has a range of supporting content, from statistics to studies to samples. For example, the seventh step , "Planning: Best Practices in Urban Forestry" (under the Plan tab), includes examples of cities that have successfully created and implemented urban forestry plans.
The toolkit is a project of Vibrant Cities Lab, a collaboration between the U.S. Forest Service, American Forests, and the National Association of Regional Councils, on a mission to help individuals "discover how healthy tree canopy can enrich their own community and help guide them as they build an effective urban forestry program."