District of Columbia

Contact: Sandra B. Hill
Chief, Trees and Landscape Division
DC Department of Public Works
1105 O Street SE
Washington, DC 20032
tel: (202) 727-5559
fax: (202) 724-1406

The Urban Forestry Program promotes the participation of volunteers and organizations working with the District of Columbia government and the Urban Forestry Council to improve the management of the city's natural resources.

Program Components

Volunteer Training
Tree Planting


The Dutch Elm Disease Control Project was funded through the Cooperative Health Management Program to lower the incidence of the disease to a manageable level. The project is a joint partnership among the Trees and Landscape Division (TLD), the USDA Forest Service, and the National Park Service. Approximately 446 infected elm trees were removed, lightly infected trees were pruned, and all trees were inspected along designated streets.

The Lamond Riggs Athletic Association received a grant to teach school children the importance of making educated choices about nutritional eating. A community garden in the neighborhood supplemented the classroom lessons on eating healthily.

The Urban Forestry Council (UFC) provided various resources to community groups. With the assistance of the TLD over 225 street trees were provided to community groups, citywide, for neighborhood plantings. The UFC provided grants to community groups to start or improve urban forestry programs.

The UFC sponsored the Audubon Society's proposal, in partnership with LaSalle Elementary School, to pilot a native wildflower garden. The garden will be incorporated into the curriculum to provide hands-on environmental education to 4th graders with the school's grounds and neighborhood as a laboratory.

The Urban Forestry Program is increasing the number of new volunteers in underserved areas participating in environmental and education activities and tree plantings. Diversification of the ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds of the volunteers is also occurring.

A public information campaign with the theme "Like Any Other Living Thing, Trees Need Care" was launched citywide. Posters, information brochures, buttons, and magnets were distributed to school and non-profit organizations to highlight the value of trees and the need for tree maintenance.

"If I knew I was going to die tomorrow, I would plant a tree today."
Martin Luther King Jr.

The TLD entered into an agreement with the District of Columbia Housing Authority to educate residents of public housing developments with workshops and field trips about tree care and other environmentally related issues. The workshops, designed for adults and children, have instructed approximately 200 people in community centers at public housing locations. The goal of the project is to provide environmental education to all public housing sites over the next two years.

The Department of Recreation and Parks' Educational Environmental Center completed its second year of providing indoor classroom education and activities for hundreds of children. In addition, there is a greenhouse and flower and vegetable garden connected with the center that provides opportunities for youth to have hands-on experiences. The number of youth served was dramatically increased as a result of increased funding for staff and supplies.

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Girl scouts help to plant street trees in front of a church.

Federal Program Support Dollars in thousands

The State Program FY 1995 FY 1996 FY 1997 FY 1998
431.8 218.0 218.5 140.7

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