This project encompasses three related issues: (1) a critical need for urban ecosystem management in Mississippi; (2) tree canopy data is a baseline for informed ecosystem management; and (3) sustainable urban ecosystem management requires resident engagement. Our multidisciplinary project team will work with arboriculture professionals and communities to teach residents and Extension agents to conduct urban forest canopy inventories using I-Tree Eco software. Residents will improve their knowledge and skills regarding ecosystem management and strengthen community social activeness. Data will be used to further local efforts in urban planning and grant writing. This project pilots a new educational program for the MSU Extension Service, reaches urban clientele, and expands program offerings to include civic ecology/community forestry.
Deliverables: (1) The project will create interest in tree canopy inventories by other communities as measured by number of information requests received by project personnel; (2) 2 in-service trainings for North Mississippi and South Mississippi; (3) at least 8 municipalities (two in each Extension district) complete tree inventories; (4) at least 3 Extension publications