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Grand Rapids First Citizen Forester Workshop

On March 13, the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks hosted its inaugural Citizen Forester workshop at Blandford. This workshop, titled Tree Planting 101 is just the beginning of a rich series of educational workshops designed to develop a deep bench of trained volunteer tree stewards.

Nestled among Blandford's forested preserve, 25 participants were taught the proper considerations for tree planting. These skills include: appropriately siting and locating a tree, proper planting procedures, and early tree maintenance. Attendees represented neighborhoods and groups from across the City, as well as individual and concerned citizens alike.

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks hopes that Citizen Foresters will become Grand Rapids' premiere tree volunteers. They are designed not only to act as volunteer leadership, but also serve as a resource within their own communities. Additionally, Citizen Foresters gain access to a community tool bank, resources, special events, and help develop future projects. Completing Tree Planting 101 or Tree Maintenance and Pruning entitles a volunteer to the title “Citizen Planter” or “Citizen Pruner” respectively. Volunteers must complete a series of 5 to 6 classes to earn the full title of “Citizen Forester.”

Over the course of the next few months, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks will continue to roll out exciting and educational training opportunities and workshops for our growing Citizen Foresters. If you're interested in become a resource for your community or volunteer leader, keep on the lookout for future training opportunities.

We want to offer our sincere thanks to Tyler Stevenson (City of Grand Rapids) and Vic Foerster (West Michigan Tree Service) for helping to co-teach this workshop.

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