Headwaters Chapter VMN – Update on JMU Tree Campus Inventory Project
Over the last five months, eight Headwaters Chapter master naturalists (and one Charlottesville Area Tree Steward in training) have worked together with James Madison University staff to geolocate approximately 1,667 campus trees. This work has pushed the new total of campus trees to over 8,000! Master naturalist volunteers have been instrumental in identifying each tree and collecting important tree data for each of those 1,667 individuals. Data collected includes each tree’s height, diameter, health, structure, species common name, native or non-native status, maintenance recommendations and identifying photographs.
JMU Facilities Management staff would like to thank the dedicated volunteers that braved the varying degrees of weather, thorns, insects and the ever-present poison ivy to assist with this tree inventory. Volunteers logged approximately 112 hours observing and recording data via the ArcGIS Collector app. The tree inventory data will be used by JMU’s staff, faculty and students for a wide variety of projects, analysis and research in order to improve upon the management and conservation of the urban forests and trees on campus.
A big THANK YOU to Ann Murray, who was this year’s tree inventory MVP. Ann dedicated over 40 hours of her time collecting tree data for the inventory. Thank you to each of the tree inventory volunteers who also committed their time assisting with the data collection and sharing their own unique expertise: Adrie Voors, Breyette Covington, Carl Droms, Cindy Westley, Dave Forrer, Kathy Byers, Sue Gier and Scott McNally (Charlottesville Tree Stewards). A behind the scenes thank you to Pam Gray for all her work in adding the inventory dates to the volunteer system and emailing new dates out so you all could sign up. The saying, “teamwork makes the dreamwork” has never been truer than for this project.
We hope to have you all back on campus in the spring for continued tree inventory work, but in the meantime, take a crack at learning to identify those evergreen trees in your community or contact Ali Sloop (witmanad [at] jmu.edu) and learn with her on a campus winter tree walk.
– Ali Sloop, JMU Stormwater Compliance Specialist, October 2022
Photo at top shows Ali and Ann collecting data along the Sibert Creek riparian buffer on JMU’s campus, October 17, 2022.