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DLNR NEWS RELEASE: Kaulunani expands community-driven citizen forester program

Posted on Oct 12, 2017 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU — The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program is bringing its successful and unique Citizen Forestry Tree Inventory Program to the Honolulu ahupua‘a of Waikiki. The program, which begins training in mid-October, seeks volunteers to become Citizen Foresters and help gather valuable data about Honolulu’s urban trees that contributes towards improved management of these important community assets.

Since the launch of the Kailua pilot program in June of 2016, our Citizen Forester team has mapped and measured nearly 4,000 trees in Kailua. Based on the work of the Citizen Foresters, the program has determined that these trees produce a range of benefits with a total monetary value of $145,519. Discover more about Kailua’s trees at

We’re looking for interested volunteers to join our Citizen Forester Team! The program trains and certifies community members as citizen foresters to work as a team identifying street trees, taking specific measurements, and recording data in a specially designed mapping application.

Joining the Citizen Foresters provides an excellent opportunity to learn new skills including identifying trees in our communities, the process of creating a tree inventory, and collecting important data. You will also get the chance to work with and meet leaders in local urban forestry from Kaulunani, the City and County of Honolulu Urban Forestry Division, The Outdoor Circle, Aloha Arborist Association, Master Gardeners, Landscape Architects, Environmental Educators, and tree advocates. It is also a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and join a worthy cause.

There is no better time than now to map Hawaii’s trees. In 2015, The Division of Forestry & Wildlife through its Kaulunani Program and Smart Trees Pacific contracted a study of Honolulu’s urban tree canopy change using high-resolution satellite imagery and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data. What the study found was alarming: every land use area analyzed showed a significant decrease in urban tree canopy; in fact, we lost nearly 5% of our urban tree canopy over the four years of the study. By contributing towards this project, citizens can make a real difference by equipping managers with useful data to help reverse this downward trend.

Kaulunani is a USDA Forest Service federally funded urban forestry program of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife, and is managed through a partnership with the non-profit organization Smart Trees Pacific.

Interested Volunteers can sign up at Survey days will be determined according to the schedules of the volunteers.  The training program will take place on the following dates: October 18, 6:00-9:00pm, October 21, 9:00am-3:00pm (two sessions; opportunity to make up the afternoon session one evening the following week), and October 28, 9:00am-11:30am.  For more information, view our flyer at or contact the Program Coordinator, Jolie Wanger with questions by email at [email protected] or by phone at (808) 721-7604.

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Resources (credit DLNR)

Photos of Citizen Foresters in Kailua:

Video of Citizen Foresters in Kailua (B-roll and interviews)

Flyer with further information on Citizen Forester Program