Extension, College of Natural Resources and Environment, Arlington County host urban forestry conference

Trees line an urban block in Roanoke, Va.

Trees in urban areas offer many benefits, such as improving air and water quality, reducing noise, and enhancing property values.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 26, 2010 – Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Virginia LEAF (Link to Education About Forests) Program based in the Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, and Arlington County will host a public meeting and conference on the importance of urban forests Sept. 23-24 in Arlington, Va.

Urban forests offer many benefits — they protect air and water quality, conserve energy, mitigate stormwater runoff, reduce noise, and enhance property values. Municipalities are steadily improving their ability to manage urban forests, but much work remains. Scientists have made significant strides in developing urban forest assessment and decision-making tools that help managers and local leaders achieve these and other objectives.

The meeting and conference, entitled “Valuing Urban Forests: Science, Application, and Action,” will cover the state of urban forest assessment science and application, and provide testimonials and demonstrations regarding research and implementation in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. Community leaders, planners, landscape architects, urban foresters, arborists, park managers, developers, builders, homeowners, and interested citizens are all invited to attend.

The public meeting, which is free, will take place on Thursday, Sept. 23 from 7 to 9 p.m. The conference follows on Friday, Sept. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; registration is $30. Both events will be held at Arlington County’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources, 2700 S. Taylor St., Arlington, Va.

The conference website includes the program agenda, speaker bios, directions, and registration information. For more information, e-mail John Munsell or call (540) 231-1611.

The College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech, which consistently ranks among the top three programs of its kind in the nation, advances the science of sustainability. Programs prepare the future generation of leaders to address the complex natural resources issues facing the planet. World-class faculty lead transformational research that complements the student learning experience and impacts citizens and communities across the globe on sustainability issues, especially as they pertain to water, climate, fisheries, wildlife, forestry, sustainable biomaterials, ecosystems, and geography. As a land-grant university, Virginia Tech serves the Commonwealth of Virginia in teaching, research, and Virginia Cooperative Extension.