Creating a unified community vision for the future of Syracuse’s urban forest

Year Complete: 2018
Grant Amount: $25,000
Local Government: City of Syracuse, NY
Local Foundation: The Gifford Foundation

Project Purpose

To create a public outreach campaign for urban forest master planning.

Key Lessons Learned

Lessons learned about tools and tactics through the project that other sustainability directors could use to advance their work.

It is very important to have all the pieces in place before beginning the project. Writing the Urban Forest Master Plan took longer than expected so the outreach efforts were set in motion to avoid any delay.  However, based on feedback, it would have been better to wait for input from the plan team and incorporate it more effectively.

Lessons for developing a collaborative process between a local government sustainability director and local place-based foundation(s).

Successful collaboration starts with willing participants and an understanding of synergy. The role of each team member is generally clear, although initially undefined roles may develop as the work continues. It is important to find common goals and put together a good project team with complementary skills.

Additional Information and Resources

This project provided funding for a steering committee to meet with project consultant to develop an approach for community engagement in long term planning for the city’s forest.  It also served as a valuable training model for young adults interested in collection of surveys and feedback. The final report on their strategic outreach can be found here.