Tree tagging brainstorm with PlanningCorps

Yesterday, nine of us (TreeKIT/PlanningCorps crew plus a few new faces) gathered on the top floor of OpenGeo to hash out some of the many ideas that have been floating around about tree tagging.

Placing tags on trees would be useful to either communicate or provide access to several types of information to people walking by:
– basic information about a tree (species, size/age, etc.)
– that the tree has been mapped by a community effort and added to a public database
– how the tree could be cared for, and how you can help
– who has been active in taking care of the tree
– other stuff

Technical-hypothetical discussions ranged from RFID, sidewalk stencils of unique IDs, portable dog tag printers, and biodegradable packs of fertilizer that could be laid over the soil. We realized that the moment when volunteers are actually out mapping is ideal for going ahead and hanging some kind of tag on the tree, but there is probably not time to hang any sort of unique ID on each tree while also rolling the wheel, recording the nearest address and all the rest of the protocol. By the end of the discussion, Brendan offered that as mappers measure a block segment, they could hang a single larger informational tag to invite locals to go online and print out their own tags for each tree, since now all that information would be part of a public database. There will be more coming on this over the leafless months.

Pratt / Fort Greene mapping party

Graduate architecture students at Pratt Institute spent classtime on Wednesday gaining basic tree identification skills and learning both the TreeKIT and Parks protocols. But yesterday, due to the havoc wreaked by the tornado, there was a bit of a scramble as we realized that it was going to be unsafe to walk through Prospect Heights due to all the debris, and we decided to focus on Fort Greene instead. So last night, we set a new mapping area, made six block maps with address labels, and adjusted the spreadsheet to include a field for “damage”. This morning, 12 students as well as professor Alex Barker met up, organized into 3 teams and set out to map the six blocks adjacent to campus.

The weather was great and we had a very successful day, helped along by a lively block party with childrens’ sing-a-longs. We saw only two street trees down in the two by three block swath south of the main campus.

Tornado-induced tree-pocalypse

We are shocked and in the middle of re-evaluating our study area for matching trees with the existing city database because so many trees came crashing down during the freak weather today.

Because of “all hands on deck” to clean up the debris, this weekend’s mapping party will be moved to another location or cancelled entirely.