Interested in becoming a Citizen Forester?
The Citizen Forester program presents a wonderful opportunity for individuals to become skilled at planting, pruning, and maintaining trees in an urban environment. It also provides interested persons with the chance to get involved with local city and county agencies and help their community take care of its public trees. The program has been active since 2006 and has graduated over 150 volunteers to dedicate their time to their communities.
Develop partnerships between Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council, regional municipalities, and individual citizens dedicated to restoring, enhancing and protecting the urban forest.
- Expand the capabilities of municipalities served by CTUFC to maintain urban forests.
- Educate and train citizen volunteers to support local municipalities in maintaining public tree health.
- Develop a citizen network to promote urban forestry to local governments.
What is a Citizen Forester?
If you are interested in learning more about trees and are willing to volunteer to help care for and maintain the public trees in your town, then Citizen Forester is for you! The Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council (CTUFC) is always accepting applications for the Citizen Forester training classes. Classes will be held periodically rotating from region to region of the CTUFC.
In return for the training and to maintain your certification with the Citizen Forester program you are encouraged to volunteer 20 hours in your community and obtain 5 continuing education hours each year. Please read the 2018 Citizen Forester Rules for full details of maintaining an active status with the Citizen Forester Program.
You will be asked to agree to the Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council and City of Fort Worth’s Volunteer Agreements. You can review the CTUFC Volunteer Agreement here. You can review the Fort Worth Volunteer Agreement here.
Citizen Forester Activities
With the skills acquired through the program and through the guidance of parks and recreation professionals, Citizen Foresters are making lasting contributions to community forests throughout North Texas.
- Planting trees
- Tree Identification
- Conducting tree inventories of local parks
- Maintaining the tree inventory of a municipal tree farm which is used for neighborhood tree planting programs
- Pruning trees growing in street medians and along major commercial corridors managed by park and recreation professionals
- Staffing educational outreach and tree give-away events
- Completing urban forestry filing and data entry projects
- Inspecting parade routes for low limbs overhanging the street.
Four Citizen Forester Regions
The CTUFC Area is vast and to better serve our communities we have divided up the area into 4 Regions. If you choose to become a Citizen Forester you may volunteer in any of the regions. Each region has a coordinator who is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with the municipalities in their region. Additionally, the coordinators are responsible for creating volunteer opportunities in their regions. Don’t worry if your city is not listed below. We would still like to have you join us and help us grow. If your city is in the Cross Timber Urban Forestry Council region, we would love to support a Citizen Forester program in your community.
The population in the Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council region ranges from small towns to large population centers. Due to this diversity, a wide spectrum exists in the way each municipality addresses urban forestry issues. Many of these municipalities are experiencing brisk population growth. Limited city budgets and small staff sizes, combined with rapid expansion, present challenges to public tree management, including hazard abatement, public tree maintenance, and just keeping trees looking their best.
To address these needs, in 2006 CTUFC began Citizen Forester, a program designed to educate and train volunteers to support municipal urban forestry programs within the Cross Timbers region. To become Citizen Foresters, volunteers first complete one of two training formats, either a 5 to 6 day training program spread out though a 5 to 6 month period with a requirement to perform an additional 25 hours of supervised volunteer work. An alternative program will be conducted in Fort Worth in 2018. This is a 10 day program spread out over 10 months. Each year after graduating, Citizen Foresters fulfill a 10-hour minimum community service to maintain the title of Citizen Forester, or 20-hour minimum community service and earn at least 5 hours of continuing education to earn the title of Certified Citizen Forester.
Among other projects, Citizen Foresters participate in tree planting programs, tree give-away events, conducting tree inventories of parks, pruning trees and providing educational outreach to the communities.