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Connecticut's Tree Wardens: A Survey of Current Practices, Continuing Education, and Voluntary Certification

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Since 1918, Connecticut state law has required the appointment of a tree warden who assumes responsibility for public trees in that municipality. A major, if not the primary, responsibility of municipal government is public safety and yet local government is also charged with protecting and enhancing the economic, social, and environmental well-being of the community. As a result, the tree warden has to balance public safety and conservation. This is only possible when tree wardens are well trained. However, state statutes do not require a tree warden to posses any relevant qualifications or to participate in continuing education. Following a 1991 needs assessment, several educational initiatives were started to increase tree warden knowledge. To increase tree warden participation, two approaches were considered. One was to amend existing state law to mandate training. A second was to encourage participation in educational programs through voluntary certification. The second approach was taken when a Tree Warden School and Tree Warden Certification Program was initiated in 1998. Results from a statewide needs assessment found that tree wardens participated in more continuing education opportunities in 2001 than they did in 1991, with a large percentage becoming Connecticut Certified Tree Wardens.

Keywords: Continuing education; law; public policy; tree warden; urban forestry

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: Urban and Community Forestry University of Connecticut Cooperative Extensions System West Hartford CT 06117-2600

Publication date: 2005-12-01

More about this publication?
  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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