Urban Extension: A Professional Development Offering

100% recycled plastic —supported the City’s goals of repairing the sidewal k while removing as few urban trees as possible.

OUTREACH: Following the installation of new sidewalk tiles in 2015, USU Forestry Extension administered a survey of nearby residents to measure perceptions of and support for the project. Survey results indicated that residents who lived nearby would have liked to know what was going on in their neighborhood before the new sidewalk materials were installed. These results were used to inform, direct, and improve the second sidewalk project in 2018. In the second project, Extension educated nearby residents about the project prior to construction and also contacted news outlets to inform them about how this novel tool would be used in the upcoming project. PARTNERING FOR SUCCESS: USU Forestry Extension worked with the Extension Forestry Specialist and City of Logan municipal crew to determine the best locations to install new sidewalk materials. During construction, the Forestry Specialist helped reduce the impact from heavy equipment on nearby trees and roots while advising workers on which roots to remove. One of the engineers that Extension worked closely with won the “2018 Distinguished Service Award” from the Utah Community Forestry Council for his involvement with the project. ONGOING COMMUNITY EDUCATION: In addition to the educational outreach that occurred prior to installing new sidewalk tiles in 2018, USU Forestry Extension developed other educational tools to communicate the project to the public. They held a webinar to educate the community about ways to deal with urban tree conflicts. They also developed a YouTube video and placed an interpretive sign on a highly used trail to highlight the project.

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View the 2018 Impact Statement for this project.

By replacing broken sidewalks with alternative materials, USU Forestry Extension was able to leave 29 large urban trees in place, each providing unique economic, ecological, and societal benefits to the community. The 29 trees that were preserved have a combined annual benefit of $5,548. This calculation is based on the value of stormwater retention, property value increases, energy savings, air pollutant absorption, and carbon sequestration. In addition, Extension measured public acceptability of the alternative sidewalk techniques and found that acceptability increased from 78% to 94% when educational information was distributed before new materials were installed. Public acceptability of saving urban trees through this method increased from 72% to 96% after educational information was distributed. This demonstrates the importance of outreach and education, especially when new tools are being used.

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