Numerous studies have demonstrated that trees benefit the environment, human health and wellness, and the social, economic, and aesthetic aspects of our communities. Overall, there are an estimated 5.5 billion trees (39.4% tree cover) in urban communities nationally. Each of these communities having many components that must be considered to maintain their urban forests.

Our Urban Forest Sustainability Initiative guide is designed to help our communities sustain their urban forests by encouraging the following strategies: increased tree species diversity, planting climate-adaptable trees, implementing proper pest management, planting the right trees in the right places, and considering native trees when increasing diversity in your urban forests. Taking these steps enhances the resiliency of our urban forests against invasive pests and climate change.

The following municipalities are participating in the Urban Forest Sustainability Initiative.

List of Partcipating Cities

  The Adopt a Tree Pilot Project is a community science project being piloted in Watertown, NY. The intension of the program is to raise awareness of invasive forest pests and to help manage invasive pests that are found before their populations become too wide-spread. 

Partcipants in the program adopt a tree in Watertown’s downtown tree arboretum to monitor for and report signs of invasive forest pests that threaten the Northern New York region. At this time, the progam is focusing on enhancing early detection efforts for emerald ash borer, spotted lanternfly, hemlock woolly adelgid and Asian longhorned beetle.  

To learn more about our Urban Forest Sustainability Initiative please reach out to our Terrestrial Resiliency and Restoration Coordinator, Robert Smith at,


View a Webinar to Learn More About Our Program

Urban forests provide immense beauty for our cities and many benefits for people and nature. Invasive tree pests and climate change threaten the health of our urban forests.

 This webinar focuses on a step by step approach that municipal leaders can take to make their urban forests more sustainable in the wake of invasive pests and climate change. An overview of the SLELO PRISM Urban Forest Sustainability Initiative and available resources are provided.


Robert Smith- SLELO PRISM

Megan Pistolese- SLELO PRISM


Rob Williams                              rwilliams@tnc.org                     Program Director

Megan Pistolese megan.pistolese@tnc.org
Outreach and Education

Brittney Rogers brittney.rogers@tnc.org 
Aquatic Invasive Species

Robert Smith       robert.l.smith@tnc.org 
Terrestrial Invasive Species

Zachary Simek    zachary.simek@TNC.ORG     Conservation and GIS Analyst

During this time the best way to contact our team is via email.