Nebraska City, Neb. (Dec. 18, 2008) – U.S. Forest Service Chief Abigail R. Kimball honored the i-Tree Development and Implementation Team with an Honor Award for Engaging Urban America. The Chief's Honor Awards are the highest awards given out by the U.S. Forest Service to publically recognize exemplary achievements in Forest Service programs that contribute to the Service's strategic goals.
i-Tree is a free suite of computer software tools developed to improve urban natural resource management by quantifying the ecosystem services and values provided by urban trees and forests. i-Tree software is being used by cities and communities not only throughout the United States but around the world.
"The i-Tree Team's efforts have significantly increased access to the science that allows us to understand how trees benefit our communities," said Scott Maco, program manager with the Davey Tree Expert Company. "Making these tools accessible allows anyone the ability to calculate energy savings, air quality improvements, carbon sequestration, and rainfall interception benefits in both absolute and economic terms."
What makes the i-Tree Development and Implementation Team unique is that it functions as a cooperative – public, private and government entities working together to create a tool that leads to better managed and sustainable urban forests. The i-Tree Team consists of Dave Nowak, Keith Cline, Greg McPherson and Dave Bloniarz of the U.S. Forest Service; Greg Ina and Scott Maco of Davey Tree Expert Company; Dan Lambe of the Arbor Day Foundation; Jerri LaHaie of the Society of Municipal Arborists; and Jim Skiera of the International Society of Arboriculture.
"The i-Tree partnership is significant. It utilizes the strengths of each partner to develop, support, and disseminate a science-based tool that engages urban America in sustaining an important natural resource," said Nowak, Project Leader for the Forest Service of a research team based in Syracuse, N.Y.
There have been nearly 3,500 copies of i-Tree distributed since its release in August 2006. Cities as diverse as Casper, Wyo., Chattanooga, Tenn., and New York City have all used i-Tree to better understand its urban forest resource and link this knowledge to improve resource management.
About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.