Forester class offered to Denton citizens

Forester class offered to Denton citizens

Forester class offered to Denton citizens
February 28
00:06 2013

Joshua Knopp / Staff Writer

Political science senior Angela Quijano wanted to have something in the community she could be proud of. When she learned about Denton’s Citizen Forester training program, she decided to take a chance.

Citizen foresters are specialized volunteers who help the city of Denton take care of trees. Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council is hosting a six-class training meeting once a month on how to become a forester. Though this costs $50, Quijano said the fee was waived for her and for any other UNT students.

“A few didn’t do that [join her in the program] because they saw it was $50 on the flyer, but they said they would waive the fee for students,” she said.

Fort Worth city forester and program instructor Melinda Adams said the purpose of citizen foresters was to help keep the community’s trees healthy and numerous. This ranges from planting the right kinds of trees the right way, to pruning trees that have become problematic in urban environments. Foresters also serve as volunteers for tree-related events, such as Arbor Day.

“You become a specially-trained volunteer,” she said. “It’s just a little specialized training, a little bit more than your everyday volunteer.”

So far, the class has only met once. Quijano said they learned how to identify and plant trees native to the Denton area, such as the bald cypress, yaupon holly and crepe myrtle. Adams says in the next sessions, they will learn about pruning and taking tree inventory for an area.

Regional forester Courtney Blevins coordinates the classes and said Quijano is the first UNT student to take a course. He said recruiting students in particular isn’t a priority for the organization.

“We are happy to teach anybody interested, but there is no formal recruitment plan,” he said. “Word of mouth is our main method sometimes.”

Quijano, on the other hand, is working to get more students involved, spreading word about the class and about the waived fee for students.

“I was looking for a way to be more involved in the community, and I thought this was a way to be more involved in the water and air in the community,” she said. “I could come back in a couple of years and be proud of the change that it’s made.”

Students may contact Angie Kralik, city forester for Denton, at Angie.Kralik@cityofdenton.com for more information on becoming a city forester.

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