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Forests in Cities Network Welcomes 2 Cities to National Coalition

By on October 01, 2023

By Sophie Plitt, Sam Lawson, and Mormei Zanke

We are excited to announce that not one, but TWO, cities are joining our Forests in Cities Network! Welcome Portland, Oregon, and Boston, Massachusetts! These teams are made up of practitioners who are passionate about managing, studying, and advocating for forested natural areas. With these new additions, we now have 19 municipalities across the nation in the coalition.

What is the Forests in Cities Network?

The Natural Areas Conservancy launched the Forests in Cities Network in 2019 to champion healthy forested natural areas in cities across America. We do this by advancing urban forest science and practice, advocating for increased resources and support, and nurturing a network of interdisciplinary experts.

About the Portland and Boston Teams

Both cities were inspired to join the network to engage with other city experts, share resources, and explore how forested natural areas could be harnessed to combat climate change.

Representing Portland, we have two Natural Resource Ecologists, Maha Guliani from the Portland Bureau of Parks and Recreation, and Christa Von Behren from the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services. Also from Portland Parks & Rec, is Patrick Key who serves as an Engineering Technician III. Together, their vast expertise in ecology and fieldwork will offer our network excellent insight from the Rose City.

The Portland team wanted to join the FiC to learn from other experts around the country who work within the urban forest network. We are enthusiastic about making connections, learning from best practices, and sharing resources with the FiC library, particularly within this changing climate.
Christa, Patrick, and Maha

The Boston team joining the network has a roster of urban forestry enthusiasts! Paul Sutton is the Urban Wilds Program Manager at Boston Parks and Recreation Department, Erica Holm, is an Urban Ecologist at Mass Audubon, and Pamela Templer is Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology at Boston University. We’re excited to have these diverse perspectives from Boston, which will expand our reach across disciplines.

We are so excited for Boston to join this network, which will facilitate our active engagement on local, regional, and national scales in assessing and promoting the value of forested natural areas (with special focus on stormwater, cooling, and carbon ecosystem services they provide). The NAC, Boston Urban Wilds, Mass Audubon, and Boston University have been involved in stewardship and understanding of forested natural areas for a long time – but joining this network now will accelerate Boston’s recent wins in urban forestry planning and funding, foster deep collegial partnerships to champion forested natural areas in the city, and boost community efforts on local sites like the Boston Nature Center and the Roslindale Wetlands. Learning directly from other network cities is going to be an amazing experience.” – Erica Holm

To hear more from the Boston team, check out the City of Boston’s news bulletin on the new FiC partnership.

Learn more about the Forests in Cities Network and read our Cooling Cities report, the network’s latest research collaboration.

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