Tree Stewards course is good for the SOUL: Registration for class is now open

Registration is now open for the Stewardship of the Urban Landscape (SOUL) Tree Stewards course offered by the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program to teach participants about trees in urban landscapes and give them the skills to be involved in local forestry issues and projects.

Classes will be held at the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension Office in Middlebury (23 Pond Lane, Suite 300) on four consecutive Wednesdays from 5:30-8pm, beginning March 18, with an all-day Saturday session on April 18. Space is limited, so early registration is advised.

Through presentations, group discussions, and hands-on training, participants will gain the skills needed to be a tree steward in their local community. The course will cover a range of topics including tree biology and health, identification, planting and maintenance, Vermont tree laws and policies and tools to communicate and assess the benefits of trees, among others.

Course participants are expected to participate in all classes and to design and complete a volunteer project in their community in order to earn certification as a Vermont Tree Steward.  Projects might include conducting a town shade tree inventory, reviewing or creating a town tree ordinance, or policy or working with a local school to organize an Arbor Day tree planting event.

Preregistration is required. The fee is $50 if paid by Feb. 27, $60 after that date, and covers course materials and lunch on the full-day session.

To register online, go to www.regonline.com/SOUL2015spring. To pay by check, contact Elise Schadler at (802) 656-2657 or elise.schadler@uvm.edu for a paper registration form. If requiring a disability-related accommodation to attend, please contact her by Feb. 20.

The Urban and Community Forestry Program is a partnership between UVM Extension and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. To learn more, visit www.vtcommunityforestry.org.