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Tualatin Riverkeepers, Centro Cultural, Muslim Educational Trust and Oregon Community Trees would like to announce year two of our exciting new jobs training opportunity for our community. In Fall of 2017 we will launch another introductory training for jobs in environmental careers, specifically for Urban Forestry. Urban Forestry is the study of designing, installing, and managing trees in an urban and semi-urbanized landscape.

Urban Foresters are jobs that are in demand because small and large businesses as well as cities and public agencies employ urban foresters to design and install trees on their properties. This includes restaurants, corporate industrial facilities, malls and city parks to name a few.

Job Trainings: trainings will be structured around a group of 10 students competitively chosen from community consultations facilitated by Centro Cultural and Muslim Educational Trust (MET).  5 students will be trained at Centro Cultural in October/November and 5 students will be trained at MET simultaneously. Trainings will give students knowledge of diverse job skills needed in Urban Forestry while also giving them exposure to experts in urban forestry who will present lectures and offer good networking connections for students.

Courses will be taught from 6-8pm weekly during October and November 2016 and students will be reimbursed $10/hour for attendance at these trainings.  This will be followed-up by 100 hours paid on the job training intended to apply skills learned with employers Fall 2016/Winter 2017. Transport stipends for buses to training will also be considered.

The training program is open to anyone above 18 years old, with a preference for older adults in career transition looking to work in the environmental field or urban forestry. The program is particularly suitable for those with an interest in science, engineering, agriculture, nurseries, landscape architecture and botany. It is hoped that eventually some of the participants will explore college degrees (2 and 4 year) at local schools based on completing the course work. For example, PCC Rock Creek has a Landscape Technology 2 year degree that is related to this training and will make candidates for the program more competitive. Partners are working on getting credit at PCC Rock Creek for this training and all course participants will receive a certificate detailing their training signed by partners Tualatin Riverkeepers, Oregon Community Trees, Centro Cultural, and Muslim Educational Trust.

Course Description

Module 1: Trees and their benefits: explaining the value-added to the public
Urban foresters and arborists are often tasked with explaining the multitude of environmental and economic benefits trees offer to a public largely unfamiliar with them.  This seminar will go over the various fields in urban forestry (arboriculture, horticulture, landscape architecture), as well as teaching students how to explain the benefits of trees to the public.

Module 2: Site design
When a city, business, or individual household wants to plant more trees on site, what is involved to bring this process to reality? This module will explain how urban foresters attain employment, ask questions of their client to understand needs, and ultimately design a site plan which details what trees will be planted and where, along with a maintenance plan.

Module 3: Tree planting 101
Let’s put some plants in the ground! This module will look at tree installation and safety considerations when beginning on the ground work. It will include an introduction to the basics of tree climbing (knots/rigging) as well as seasonality associated with tree planting to create tangential environmental benefits (wildlife habitat, etc). Urban foresters also need to be familiar with both native and non-native species to use in their daily work with diverse groups of clients with sometimes widely differing interests. So we will also discuss common native trees in Oregon and their environmental benefits as well as the most common non-native trees and considerations in their planting (height, competition with natives, whether they are drought adapted or not).

Module 4: Tree maintenance: Pruning and Risk Assessment
Now that you’ve gotten trees in the ground, the most important step involves maintaining their health. This is something restoration and urban forestry professionals spend a majority of their time doing. In this module you will learn pruning techniques and evaluating risks of trees falling down or being harmed by disease.

Module 5: Computer Literacy and Trees
Urban foresters, and in particular arborists, often utilize spatial mapping (GIS) and other computer programs in their daily work. This module will go over the basics of a tree inventory and canopy study for an area, in this case Cornelius. Participants will use the ITREE program to look at vacant lots in their communities and design plans for tree cover.

Module 6: Business incubation for new foresters and green enterprise
Portland offers some examples of successful microenterprise for green business, most recently with Verde (http://www.verdenw.org/).  Washington County wants homegrown businesses like Verde, but conceptualized and led by local leaders serving the communities they live in near Forest Grove, Cornelius, and Hillsboro. This module will go into the basics of business incorporation, marketing and leadership so participants can gain further perspective on long-term goals.

Module 7: Planning and Trees: the Washington County Context
Urban Forestry contracts don’t happen in a vacuum. It is dependent on broader development trends in WA County, a rapidly urbanizing area. Contracts for greenspace must be weighed against a variety of conflicting land use demands. In this module, participants will learn about Metro and the Urban Growth Boundary, how cities plan and interact with this in WA County, and how transportation and housing affect greenspaces and forestry as a field.

Submit applications (questions below) by Sept 15th to:  green.jobs@tualatinriverkeepers.org
Paper applications can be dropped off at Centro Cultural or Muslim Educational Trust

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