Future Forest Project
In 2011, Austin Parks Foundation (APF) introduced an intensive five-year program to increase the number of trees planted on public land and develop more efficient strategies for harnessing steady requests from volunteers wanting to help the Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) plant and care for trees. Later that year, upon receiving a $100,000 challenge grant from The Meyer Levy Charitable Foundation, that intensive five-year program evolved into the public-private, long-term partnership known as the Future Forest Project (FFP).
Through extensive cooperation, and with guidance from Imagine Austin’s Comprehensive Plan, the 30-year plan for city growth, we anticipate saving thousands of existing trees from drought, planting thousands of saplings and removing non-native, invasive species from our urban ecosystem.
The Future Forest Project (FFP) collaborators worked together to devise a plan of action to accomplish our collective goals in accordance with Imagine Austin’s Comprehensive Plan. We identified three targets for our ongoing efforts to protect and expand Austin’s urban forest:
- Natural Woodlands and Nature Preserves
- Riparian Corridors
- High-use Parklands
For each of these areas, strategies were designed to improve and protect the natural environments. We will regenerate forests through managed succession, removal of invasive species, planting trees, seedlings and saplings, adding irrigation where required, and providing care to the new and extant trees and soils at their root zones, mainly in the forms of pruning, root collar excavation, and mulch application.
Urban Forest Steward Training
In 2015, Austin Parks Foundation and TreeFolks partnered to offer the comprehensive Urban Forest Steward Training by TreeFolks to Park Adopters and APF partners for a significantly reduced fee. This scholarship enabled APF’s Adopt-A-Park leaders, as well as others, to experience this intensive training and broaden their knowledge of Austin’s wildlife and urban forest.