Vermont's tree wardens play a critical role in maintaining the health of public green spaces in our communities. Today, tree wardens are on the front lines of a host of environmental issues, such as managing the impacts of the emerald ash borer, the decline of aging urban trees, changes in the regional climate, effects of environmental stressors like natural disasters, and weaknesses in past municipal planning initiatives.
As the designated individual, the tree warden is responsible for making determinations about public shade trees, such as those found on town greens and within the public right-of-way in town centers. The full duties and responsibilities are officially outlined in the Vermont Tree Warden Statutes, which were first adopted in 1904 and were amended and updated in 2020. The amendments brought long needed clarity to the statutes that were written in a time when the ecological landscape and intricacies of municipal governance were significantly different from today’s landscape. With these changes, the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program saw an opportunity to elevate the role of tree warden and provide direct educational assistance through a new course offering, Vermont Tree Warden School.
This course was designed for all Vermont Tree Wardens (newly appointed or veterans) and decision makers in communities, with a focus on understanding the role and responsibilities of the tree warden, identifying trees a public resource, and connecting with stakeholders in their municipality. Forty tree wardens participated in the inaugural self-paced course held in the spring of 2021. The course is composed of sections, each with video presentations, resources, and activities, as well as four live discussions. Each discussion focused the conversation and shared experiences around a topic, including the statutes changes, outreach, and tree risk management.
The position of tree warden has a unique legal responsibility in protecting and celebrating a natural resource within each community. With the newly amended statutes, Vermont Tree Warden School helped fulfill a critical need in understanding the legal changes, provided resources to further develop tree care technical skills and provided a welcomed networking opportunity for a position that has been overlooked for too long.
Miss out on this course? Sign up for the summer offering!
June 1st to July 30th, 2021
Tree Warden School is a self-paced course, composed of 4 sections. Each section has videos and content that are to be completed on your own schedule.
Additionally, course attendees will be invited to three live webinar discussions. The live webinars are not required but offer an opportunity to interact with other attendees.
Live webinar discussions dates:
- Tuesday, June 15th, 7pm
- Thursday, June 24th, 7pm
- Thursday, July 8th, 7pm