Project Set Up

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Hondo
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:41 am

Project Set Up

Post by Hondo » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:32 pm

We have an Important Bird Area (IBA) within our urban community. A local conservation organization wants to [Objective 1] enhance the bird habitat available around the IBA by launching a program where homeowners surrounding the IBA could register their property as a cooperator in protection and improvement of the IBA. The conservation organization also wants to [Objective 2] use this program as a conservation education tool by demonstrating the importance of trees and green space for the removal of pollutants, reduction in energy costs, reduction is storm water runoff, and sequestration of carbon. i-Tree is being evaluated as a way of measuring the progress of IBA enhancement as well as the benefits of the urban ecological zone to the city and environment. The project design being contemplated is as follows;
1. A public education/promotion of the program to announce how citizens can register their yards in the IBA program.
2. The organization and its volunteers would survey each urban lot registered in the program using i-Tree to analyze the data.
3. Each urban lot would be surveyed completely in its entirety to inventory trees, shrubs, ground cover and plantable space. The county auditors GIS site would help define lot boundaries and locations of buildings.
4. The data would be used to calculate the current benefit of the yard for removals of pollutants etc., storm water decreases and habitat value.
5. The results would also be used to provide recommendations to each yard owner to make their yard more bird friendly to enhance the value of the urban IBA and to improve air and water quality.
6. After changes were made to a yard, a resurvey would be conducted some years later to see what improvements had occurred and the impact the changes may have on pollution, carbon, water infiltration, and habitat.

Questions: I-Tree describes use of random plots. These yards would not be random plots as the yards to be surveyed would be determined by who decides to register their yard. The plots (yards) would also be of various sizes and shapes. Would such a project be compatible with i-Tree? Can the data from these non-random “plots” (yards) be aggregated and used to demonstrate benefits on not only a single yard scale but on an neighborhood or community scale? What are the pros and cons of such a use of this tool. What modifications to our project design might allow us to use i-Tree to benefit our IBA program?. Any advise would be much appreciated.
azelaya
i-Tree Team
Posts: 348
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:50 am

Re: Project Set Up

Post by azelaya » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:55 pm

The project you described does not work well with random sampling if plots are determined based on yards of program participants. Based on your description, I would consider using i-Tree Design as a complementary tool to your program. Design is a simple web-based tool that is designed specifically to engage homeowners and it is much easier to work with than tools like Eco which use random sampling protocols and require more extensive data entry for each tree. Although the i-Tree tools do not determine wildlife habitat benefits, Design could still offer those interested in participating in your program an opportunity to learn about comprehensive benefits that trees provide on their property.

Unfortunately, there is not a way to aggregate i-Tree Design benefits from multiple discreet projects or transfer data into another i-Tree program. However, you could ask participants to send you their saved Design projects to build data external of i-Tree. For example, you could consider using a GIS or similar system to keep track of all trees in your program.

In short, I think you will find that Design will offer you a good tool to address your objectives and also provide potential IBA program participants with relevant tree benefit information.

-Al
A member of the i-Tree Team
Hondo
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:41 am

Re: Project Set Up

Post by Hondo » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:05 am

Thanks this is good advice. I may need more in the future!! :D
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