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Rio Rancho Tree Steward Program

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Project Protocol:

SCMG Chairperson: Connie Walsh

The Rio Rancho Tree Steward Program with SCMG expertise regarding the care and maintenance of the park trees within Rio Rancho. SCMGs help organize training programs for citizens who sign up to be Tree Steward Volunteers for a period of one year service. The Steering Committee helps provide expert teachers in the field of arboriculture through connections with NMSU professors. Two training days are help each year in; May and October. Up to 30 citizens pre-register and take the one day training.

The citizens of Rio Rancho who become Tree Stewards will learn basic tree care in a desert setting. The SCMGs who assist share their interest in preserving the urban forest for green spaces in a drought situation.

A Tree Steward takes the training and agrees to walk his or her neighborhood park and submit an observation form to Keep Rio Rancho Beautiful four times a year. The form provides the Park Department with information about the condition of the trees in the park. Examples: There are broken sprinkler heads; dying trees; trees that need pruning; tree wells needed; more mulch needs to be applied; cracks in tree trunks; and trees are not receiving adequate water and are stressed.

There are 40 city parks in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The goal is to have a minimum of two Tree Stewards for each of the 40 parks.

Tree Stewards report their findings on a schedule of: December/ March/ June/ October. The turn in of paperwork is usually a group event at one of the city recreation centers. This is an opportunity for Q & A among the Tree Stewards, lasting about two hours. The time spent walking the park will vary based on the size of the park and the speed of the Tree Steward.

The mission of this volunteer opportunity is to engage the citizens of Rio Rancho in stewardship of the urban forest, through hands on learning about the care of urban trees.

A goal would be to promote awareness of the environmental benefits of an urban forest. This, then, improves the community's appearance, and increases the quality of life of every citizen.

Other Volunteer Opportunities:

A Tree Seedling Give-Away will be feld April 13, 2013 at the Loma Colorado Library. Time to be announced later.

Next Tree Stewards Training Class

Training information is located here.

Rio Rancho Tree Survey is Complete!!

In 2011, a number of Sandoval County Master Gardeners volunteered and formed groups that surveyed, evaluated, measured, identified and made recommendations for the trees in the parks of Rio Rancho. You may wonder why Rio Rancho didn't already know what trees were in their parks . . . the answer is simple; most of the parks were created by land developers as part of a housing subdivision. Therefore, the city had no idea what was planted where or when. Thanks to those who gave their time and talent to this project, the City of Rio Rancho now know what is in their parks.

With the tree survey complete, the Tree Steward Program is implemented.

The city of Rio Rancho will train up to 30 volunteers each spring to be Tree Stewards for a year-long commitment to help the city plant and take care of trees in public parks.

To learn more about this opportunity, please visit the city of Rio Rancho website.

Survey Results:

Total Number of Parks Inventoried: 39
Total Number of Trees Inventoried: 1899
Total Number of Hours Volunteere: 282.5
Total Number of SCMG Invovled: 16
Total Number of Citizens Involved: 5

Tree Inventory VALUE of Volunteer Time: 282.5hrs @ $20.85/hr = $5,890.13

Rio Rancho City Meeting

The Rio Rancho City Hall meeting was held on July 28, 2011 at 5:30 PM. A presentation was made at that time to the governing body and the SCMG's will be receiving Thanks and Appreciation for their hard work on this project.

A final report will be issued toward the end of September 2011.

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