Tree Warden Exchange

Tree wardens sharing ideas and learning from each other

The exchange program offers the opportunity to learn from a fellow municipal tree warden in Massachusetts.The time frame for the exchanges is determined by the participants, with assistance from MTWFA program coordinators.

Tree wardens may be full-time, part-time, paid or volunteer. Not a tree warden? Not a problem, as long as you work in a municipal department that has responsibilities for urban and community-owned trees.

What Is the Tree Warden Exchange Program?
MTWFA offers an exchange program for municipal arborists located within Massachusetts. Each participant spends 1-2 days visiting and working with another town or city forestry department. Read the reports from Round One.

An exchange may be one-way or two-way. “One-way exchange” means that a selected participant visits the tree warden in a host community. “Two-way exchange” means that paired participants take turns, each hosting the other in their respective communities. A two-way exchange is preferred. If necessary, MTWFA and contributing sponsors will fund gas and lodging.

Why Sponsor an Exchange Program?
The program creates a way for tree wardens to exchange urban forestry expertise, management ideas and technology through personal contact and on-site experience. What better way to find out how other forestry practitioners operate than to spend time with each other? We have much to learn from other programs in our state, and we each have much to offer. The program facilitates the transfer of knowledge and will help foster a growing network of tree wardens.

Who Can Apply?
A candidate must be a member of MTWFA. One can apply for the exchange immediately upon joining the association. A candidate must be employed in a municipality, within the urban forestry profession and preferably as a tree warden, for at least two years. A candidate must fill out a simple exchange application.

How Are Selections Made?
Two-way exchange pairings are made by a selection committee on a “best match” basis. The number of participants depends on available funding. Applicants may indicate their preference for community size to visit: small, medium or large. The selection committee will consider if an applicant wishes to have an exchange with someone from a preferred city.
Ideally, each forestry program will have or do something that the other can learn from – a unique or exemplary program, site condition, problem, etc.

What Is Required From Selected Participants?
Participants spend 1-2 days with the host city’s forestry department or tree warden. Each participant is required to draft an article for the BARK newsletter about what he or she learned and experienced.

All four tree wardens who participated in Round One of the Tree Warden Exchange Program were enthusiastic about their experiences, and they want to let you know that it’s well worth it! Accounts of the Chelsea-Boston exchange were published in the Winter 2013 BARK newsletter.