Urban and Community Forestry Program
The Forest Service Urban & Community Forestry Program is a technical, financial, and educational assistance program, delivering nature-based solutions to ensure a resilient and equitable tree canopy where more than 84 percent of Americans live.
By working with our state partners and community tree groups, the program invests from the ground up in communities, improving more than 140 million acres of urban and community forest across the United States.
Strategic Focus Areas
Priorities, tasks, resource allocation, partnerships, program direction, performance measures and accountability at all levels of the Program align with the seven goals outlined in the collaboratively developed Ten-Year Urban Forestry Action Plan (2016-2026).
Integrate Urban and Community Forestry Into all Scales of Planning.
- Support inclusion of trees and forests as elements of all community comprehensive and master planning efforts.
- Support the integration of urban forestry into all scales of city, regional, and state-scale master plans.
- Launch a public awareness and education campaign to elevate recognition of the value of urban trees and urban forests ecosystems as essential contributors to community sustainability and resilience.
- Increase community capacity to use urban trees and forestry in public space planning, infrastructure, and private development.
Promote the Role of Urban and Community Forestry in Human Health and Wellness.
- Expand opportunities for collaboration with the health community.
- Champion a nationwide marketing campaign that links trees to human health and wellness.
- Plan, design and manage urban forests to improve human health and wellness.
- Develop tools to improve and highlight the relationship between improved public health, wellness, and urban and community forestry and green infrastructure.
Cultivate Diversity, Equity, and Leadership Within the Urban Forestry Community.
- Increase diversity, equity, and accessibility in urban and community forestry.
- Engage underserved communities in urban and community forestry.
- Develop effective leadership at all levels to build a national voice for urban forestry.
- Increase workforce development opportunities and green jobs in urban and community forestry, with particular attention to underserved communities.
- Promote expanded collaboration, training and communication within the field of urban and community forestry to build workforce professional development.
Strengthen Urban and Community Forest Health and Biodiversity for Long-Term Resilience.
- Increase the biodiversity, health, and resilience of trees in urban and community forests.
- Foster resilience, restoration, and sustainability of urban and community forests facing climate change challenges.
- Support use of urban forests for increasing community food resilience and access to local foods.
Improve Urban and Community Forest Management, Maintenance, and Stewardship.
- Improve urban and community forest management, maintenance, and arboricultural practices.
- Develop comprehensive programs, policies, and resources for enhancing urban forestry stewardship.
- Promote better use of technology and tools in urban forestry.
- Facilitate expanded research and delivery of scientific findings to all stakeholders. (See Research Agenda).
Diversify, Leverage, and Increase Funding for Urban and Community Forestry.
- Increase funding and grants for urban and community forestry.
- To leverage and diversify funding, expand collaboration between urban forestry and related fields, agencies, and sectors.
Increase Public Awareness and Environmental Education to Promote Stewardship.
- Create environmental education programs that focus on urban and community forestry issues.
- Create a nationwide urban forestry public awareness and education campaign.
- Increase engagement of underserved and minority communities in urban forestry establishment and stewardship.
National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council
The National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC) is an appointed advisory council to the Secretary of Agriculture on urban forestry and related issues. NUCFAC was founded to synthesize the full spectrum of views into a consistent vision, as a foundation for practical policy on urban forestry.
Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost Share Grant Program
This year’s grant program increases resiliency of our urban and community forests through reforestation, management, planning, and mitigation strategies. The four awardees identified innovative approaches to serve communities across the country that also addressed critical challenges identified in the National Ten Year Urban and Community Forestry Action Plan (2016-2026).
Technology and Science Delivery
The Forest Service’s National Urban Forest Technology & Science Delivery Team delivers quality urban natural resources science, technology, and information to improve the long-term sustainability of urban ecosystems. The team’s mission is to help inform environmental stewardship and sustainability with sound decisions about urban and community lands and the broader watershed, for wildlife and people. Our Vibrant Cities Lab website provides tools, research syntheses, and case studies to help the public discover how a healthy tree canopy can enrich their own community. Our National Webinar Series brings experts together to discuss the latest science, practice, and policy on urban forestry and the environment.
Regional Urban & Community Forestry Programs
Contact a Federal Program Manager (.pdf, 207KB)