Denver, Colo. – Volunteers from more than a dozen cities across the state inventoried more than 1,200 trees in Denver’s Fairmount Cemetery July 21 during a day of service organized by the Colorado State Forest Service, the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Colorado Tree Coalition. Fairmount – founded in 1890 – was originally landscaped with more than 4,000 trees. Today, Fairmount is the state’s largest arboretum and home to numerous notable and state champion trees.
Event organizer Scott Grimes, who chairs ISA-RMC’s day of service committee, said the idea of a Fairmount day of service has been on his mind for years. Recognizing the need to identify maintenance priorities for such a large arboretum, Grimes knew an inventory would be the best first step to helping Fairmount care for the trees. He contacted the Colorado Tree Coalition to see if its Front Range Urban Forestry Council meeting for July could be converted to a day of service, and he teamed up with the Colorado State Forest Service for help with rallying volunteers and handling logistics.
On the day of the event, 47 volunteers from communities as far away as Fort Morgan attended a training on the online inventory application being used – Colorado Tree View (CO-TreeView) – and received a refresher course on tree inventory basics. They then broke into groups and got to work, inventorying more than 65 cemetery blocks throughout the day.
When Kelly Briggs, president and CEO of Fairmount, learned that more than 1,200 trees had been inventoried, he said he was amazed. He said he was surprised and grateful to have so many people show up to help out. “And they were all such great people,” he said.
Briggs says having a searchable record of each tree’s characteristics, management needs and location will help with hazard mitigation, worker training/instruction, storm damage prevention, budgetary planning, planting strategy, funding solicitation, tree tour development and more. It