Friday, July 09, 2010

ALB Confirmed in Jamaica Plain

According to the Boston Globe, officials confirmed that six trees found to have been infested by the Asian longhorned beetle have been removed from the grounds of Faulkner Hospital, in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood. The hospital lies adjacent to the Arnold Arboretum, a central location for the observation and preservation of local tree species. In addition, officials have identified a 1.5 mile radius zone surrounding the hospital in which to continue searching for further signs of investigation.

The Asian longhorned beetle, an invasive species believed to have been brought over from China, has caused over 20,000 trees in the Worcester area to be removed, after its discovery in the area in 2008. Recovery efforts are underway, though, and UEI has been on hand to help in the planting of new, non-host tree species.

For local residents in the Boston area, officials have set up a hotline to report beetle sightings at 866-702-9938.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

UEI Recognizes Arbor Day 2010 in Roxbury

This past Saturday, April 24th, UEI joined the City of Boston, along with its partners in the Boston Urban Forest Coalition, were promoting Arbor Day by leading a tree planting training session for the non-profit groups selected receive funding through the Grow Boston Greener tree grant program. This training, located at the Dimock Community Health Center in Roxbury, gave the 13 city-wide groups the opportunity to be formally trained tree planting, maintenance, and site analysis. In addition to the three new trees planted at the training the groups receiving funding will add 126 of trees to the Boston landscape at 18 sites across the city.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Turns 40 Today

Today the world celebrates the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, a chance to celebrate the planet on which we live. The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, at a time when significant environmental change was needed, particularly in cities.

Today, the health of our cities has dramatically improved, although much progress still needs to be made.

UEI is playing its part. We are proud to be working with neighborhood residents and municipalities to plant trees and restore urban greenspace, and with teachers to get students outside where they can conduct scientific studies while heightening their sense of nature and the environment.

Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 05, 2010

New Trees for Worcester in 2010

Since 2008, UEI has been partnering with the Worcester Tree Initiative (WTI) to re-forest Worcester, MA and surrounding towns. WTI is a private, nonprofit initiative to replant 30,000 trees in and around Worcester, arising as a result of significant devastation to the forestland due to the introduction of the Asian longhorned beetle nearly 15 years ago. Along with this invasive species' introduction, urban development and recent weather have taken their toll on the forests of the Worcester region.

In the fall, UEI helped facilitate a volunteer training for local residents to select and be trained in planting new, non-host trees. This year, UEI will continue lending support to the WTI through continued giveaways, trainings, and plantings.

The Asian longhorned beetle continues to threaten forestland in the Worcester region, as well as in New York and New Jersey. For more information on spotting the beetle and signs of infestation, visit

Left Image Source:
Right Image Source: Worcester Telegram/Christine Peterson

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Social Networking and Citizen Science

To engage youth in the collection of urban ecological data, UEI is harnessing the power of social media by launching a Twitter feed for the collection of ecological observations, to be displayed on the Field Studies Wikispace. Students and teachers can now send a text message directly to their Twitter accounts, using a specific tag, to record their ecological observations, such as unique bird sightings, signs of seasonal change, and animal behaviors. Here's a recent photo upload of blooming skunk cabbage in Newton:

#ueidata skunk cabbage, edmands park, newton 3/24/10 on Twitpic

Social networking tools such as Twitter have become a new and vital resource for the citizen science movement, used to gather and organize ecological research data, and to informally communicate with others who are also conducting research.