Piloting the SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard
Collecting Data and Documenting the First SFI-Certified Urban Forest
Why this Project Matters
North America contains some of the most urban landscapes on the planet, with more than 80% of the US and Canadian populations living in cities. Forests are an important element of these urban environments, providing many social and environmental benefits, including improved health and wellbeing, access to outdoor learning environments, climate change solutions, reduced air pollution, lower temperatures, and improved urban design. Despite these benefits, tree canopy coverage and maintenance varies between communities, and not all city-dwellers equally enjoy the life-saving benefits trees provide.
How the Project Is Helping Collect and Share Important Certification Documentation
Urban and community forestry involves both planning and managing urban forests because healthy urban forests require the right tree, planted in the right place, in the right way. The first university forest certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard, Clemson has been a pioneer in sustainable management of their campus’s trees (including the more than 17,000-acre/6,880 hectare Clemson Experimental Forest), having maintained SFI certification since 2013. Now, they are working to obtain certification to the new SFI Urban and Community Forest Standardfor the 1,400 acres/566 hectares of urban forest on campus and documenting their efforts of continuous improvement. As part of the project, the university will create a public website to share how they document and prepare for third-party verification.
The SFI Community Grant Program is supporting Clemson University by providing resources needed for data collection and documentation leading to certification, essential for the future management decisions and financial support of the university.
This partnership includes Clemson University faculty and graduate students, forestry professionals, and an SFI certified organization.
About Clemson University Cooperative Extension College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences
Clemson University was established to fulfill its founder’s vision of “a high seminary of learning” to develop “the material resources of the state” for the people of South Carolina. Clemson Extension helps improve the quality of life of all South Carolinians by providing unbiased, research-based information through an array of public outreach programs in youth development, agribusiness, agriculture, food, nutrition and health, and natural resources. With offices in all 46 counties of the state, Clemson Extension works to help support South Carolina’s $42 billion agriculture and forestry industries; strengthen families and communities; improve stewardship of natural resources and the environment; strengthen connections between people and their food; and expose South Carolina youth to opportunities in agriculture, science, technology, engineering, and math. Learn more.