Four active work groups focus their attention on tree planting, stewardship, research, education, policy, skill and training development, and resource needs for the regional forest.
The work groups meet throughout the year and come together annually for the Partner Recognition Celebration. They are tackling the regional forest’s central issues.
The Forest Composition Work Group gathers and analyzes forest composition and canopy cover data for the region to provide an accurate snapshot of our forest structure and to identify priority areas for planting and stewardship projects. They also developed an interactive priority map and canopy cover summary packets to help public and private land managers. They meet as needed.
The Tree Stewardship and Planting Work Group aims to improve the practice of urban forestry (specifically tree planting and care) and share best practices with people who work in tree- or forestry-related professions throughout the region. They meet monthly.
Our Trees and Green Infrastructure Work Group addresses related policy issues, such as bringing the strategies and processes of natural systems into the built environment and implementing the Chicago Wilderness Oak Ecosystems Recovery Plan. The work group is currently creating recommendations for tree protection ordinances, development and zoning ordinances, and urban forest advocacy. They meet quarterly.
The biggest threats to our urban forest are the changing climate, in which extreme weather, increased pest pressure and associated issues will exacerbate damage to and from trees; and the unintentional damage caused by people who need a broader understanding of arboricultural practices and science. By providing targeted training and outreach to improve tree risk assessment and management, the Tree Risk Assessment and Management Work Group seeks to ameliorate the increasing threats faced by trees. They meet quarterly.