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Forest Identification and Restoration Selection Tool

What is FIRST?

In 2019, the Natural Areas Conservancy developed and released a new resource for New York City’s land managers called the Forest Identification and Restoration Selection Tool, or FIRST.

The tool was developed as part of a larger project to create climate-adaptive planting palettes for urban forest restoration projects in the NYC metropolitan region.

The web-based tool was created using data from the NAC and NYC Parks’ Ecological Assessment of New York City’s natural areas, and tree species climate adaptation data from the USDA Forest Service Climate Change Tree Atlas.

Developed with urban forest restoration practitioners in mind, this tool assists users in identifying the kind of forest they are currently working in based on observed tree species and geographic conditions. The tool then suggests tree species that would be appropriate to plant in that type of forest from one of the 36 palettes.

Access the Tool
Blue berries on a pine shrub close up
A turkey tail mushroom grows out of a log