The Massachusetts DCR Urban and Community Forestry Program and the USDA Forest Service have developed criteria that indicate a strong community forestry program. In fact, the USDA Forest Service monitors each state's performance based on how many communities are meeting these criteria. Massachusetts will receive more federal dollars, as more communities achieve these standards which means DCR can pass on more funds to the cities and towns of the Commonwealth.
The six criteria that DCR will use to measure your community’s capacity to effectively manage its community forest are:
1. Securing or training professional staff
2. Developing and implementing an urban forestry management plan
3. Building and strengthening citizen advocacy and action organizations
4. Developing and adopting tree and forest ordinances and policies
5. Achieving Tree City USA® accreditation
6. Coordinating community tree and forest management decisions among municipal departments.
Definitions for these criteria can be found in the glossary of terms which you can access from the Community Status Map.
Enter the Community Status Map to find out how your community compares to other communities in the state as measured against the criteria above. You will also learn who manages the trees and forests in your community, how much of your community is covered by tree canopy, how much of your community is covered by impervious surface and many other important pieces of urban forestry data. We hope that the Community Status Map will enable local decision makers to make informed forestry decisions, enable local resource managers to implement programs more effectively and enable citizens to become more familiar with their community forest and more involved with the care and management of this important resource.
The Community Status Map can be used to:
1.) Highlight communities by a given value (for example, which communities have a documented management plan) by clicking a radio button from the list to the right of the map. The map will display communities in different colors based on the selected value.
2.) Display urban forestry management information for a specific community by choosing a community from the dropdown list near the top of the page. The map will zoom to your community and Urban & Community Forestry information for that community will be displayed in the box below the map. Clicking a community on the map itself will also display this information.