USF experts to lead workshop at Mayor’s Symposium on Community Trees and the Urban Forest

TAMPA, Fla. (Jun. 9, 2008) – Tampa boasts over 7.8 million trees. There’s more to sustaining this treasure than meets the eye. The public can learn about the benefits, current condition and value of Tampa's urban forest in a half-day seminar, “The Mayor’s Symposium on Community Trees and the Urban Forest,” taking place Jun. 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S. Franklin Street.

Shawn Landry, interim director and B. Terry Johnson, associate in research at the University of South Florida’s Florida Center for Community Design and Research and colleagues from the University of Florida will present the findings of their “City of Tampa Urban Ecological Analysis 2006-2007” study and lead facilitated working groups focused on the concerns and issues associated with sustaining Tampa’s urban forest.

Among the findings of the USF study, according to Landry, “The City of Tampa experienced an overall increase in tree cover between 1996 and 2006. In fact, after experiencing a net loss in tree canopy cover during the 1970s and 1980s, tree cover in 2006 returned to almost the same amount as in 1975.”

Johnson added, “We all have a stake in the City’s urban forest – and a role to play in the ongoing process to keep it viable.”

Participants in the symposium will take part in the first step in the development of a city strategy to manage the city’s trees and woodlands in a manner that supports human health and economic and environmental sustainability. This event is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required. E-mail or call (813) 931-2608 or 931-2104. Space is limited, early reservations are recommended.

“The Mayor’s Symposium on Community Trees and the Urban Forest” is co-sponsored by the City of Tampa, the University of Florida, the University of South Florida and Hillsborough County Extension.

The University of South Florida is among the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It is one of Florida's top three research universities. USF was awarded more than $300 million in research contracts and grants last year. The University offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The University has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 45,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

 – USF –