It is easy to think that your actions don't have an impact. We think of volunteering as a step. With one foot forward, we can create movement. With dozens of steps, we create momentum. With our friends, family, and neighbors stepping in the same direction, we create equitable change.
The Nebraska Forest Service compiled a list of actions we see as ways for you to become involved in tree initiatives in your community. We have also put together a list of actions city officials can take to help make green infrastructure and tree planting a focal point in communities across Nebraska.
Community leaders, you can help too!
|I want to...||Why it matters...|
|Get input from my tree board, or if none, help to get one started||Unfortunately, there are some leaders who don’t even get a chance to hear from their tree board. They are a valuable resource that should be fully utilized.|
|If no tree ordinances or policy, establish them||Even small communities can benefit from ordinances and policies to help guide decisions and avoid conflicts and disputes. There are many existing examples from other communities that can be used to help develop your own.|
|If ordinances and policy already exist, review them for updates and refinement||Well-intentioned ordinances and policy don’t always achieve intended results, sometimes have unintended consequences, and circumstances change. So even the best ordinances and policy should be reviewed regularly and refined if necessary to better achieve community goals.|
|Inventories: if none, do one; if have one, use it||Inventories are a tremendous tool to gauge the current community forest status and help guide decisions and direction for next steps. Now is a great time to do an inventory because there are a wide range of relatively new user-friendly yet powerful technologies available.|
|Educate myself on the value of trees, their tremendous return on investment, and share this with the community||Everyone instinctively knows (and feels) the shade benefit trees provide. But many don’t know that also equates to energy savings, plus better health, improved stormwater management, and the many other less obvious but important benefits trees provide. Learning these facts and spreading the word can go a long way in helping to maximize the benefits provided by your community forest.|
|If my community doesn’t have a tree board, start one||Some communities haven’t established a tree board. Yet all could use one since every community forest can be improved with clear goals, guidance, and proper care.|