Creating a local program

“You don’t need to predict the future.  Just choose a future – a good future, a useful future…” – Isaac Asimov 


This section is intended for local Tree Steward course planners. It contains suggestions for documents related to local EMG TS courses and help with the transition between the tree steward training course and the students’ accomplishment of their intern projects.

Learning Objectives

  1. Be aware of Tree Steward course policies and requirements.
  2. Use local procedures to develop and obtain approval of EMG TS intern projects.
  3. Use local resources to improve the situation of trees in the local community.


Local Forms

Suggested items to include:

  • Local EMG TS course requirements and policies.
  • Local EMG TS class schedule.
  • Project development guidance.  Possible worksheet and proposal forms are shown on the next two pages, as a suggested place to start for local training programs.

Sample Worksheet for Developing a Program Project

Step 1:  Scope out the possibilities:  what is needed in your city or county?

  • Tree guide for a new trail in a wooded park?
  • School or children’s group education?
  • Pruning training module?
  • Educational tree planting?
  • Improvement to county/city management of tree stocks?
  • Write a VCE publication?
  • Organize an educational campaign in your local news media?

Step 2:  Many projects are better done by groups of TS.  Look around to see if anyone in the class is looking at the same things you are.  A solo project is also fine, if that seems best to you.  Then discuss your idea with the TS Class Staff to arrange a TS Mentor for further development and execution advice.

Step 2:  Determine the target audience.  This could be a group of people, an organizational or civic entity, a recreational activity, etc.

Step 3:  What do you expect as the outcome?  Think both short and long term.  Is it a document, an event, a physical installation, a new management program, or something else?  What kind of measurement is appropriate?

Step 4:  How will you know if you have achieved your desired result?  Think about alternative outcomes:  if the result is not what you intended, how can you use this to the good?  Note that if the goal and method are appropriate and approved, whatever result you get will satisfy the TS certification requirement.

Step 5:  What resources will you need?  Where will they come from?

Step 6:  Set up a timeline with progress checkpoints.  Your project may have multiple stages or could be an open-ended effort if appropriate.

Step 7:  Turn in proposal for approval, through the TS Class Staff to your Agent.

Sample EMG Tree Steward Program Project Proposal

Your Name(s)________________________ Your MG Unit(s)____________  Date_________

Title of Project _________________________________________________________

Type of Project (check all that apply):


Educational Guide _____

Presentation/Class _____

Publication _____

Experiment _____

Government Process _____

Other _____

What need do you see and what do you think can be done about it? _____________________________________________________________________



What impact do you hope for:

Short term______________________________________________________________

Long Term_____________________________________________________________

Intended Audience:


Other Entities or People Involved __________________________________________

Resources Needed/ Where to Get:



TS Mentor(s)/Advisor(s) ________________________________________________

Agent Approval___________________________________________________________

Governmental and Other Institutional Information

We recommend you collect government and other institutional documents to provide to your Tree Stewards. These materials could be researched by the students as part of their course work or intern project development.  Items in this section could include:

  • Instructions on accessing city or county Multi-Year Plans regarding trees.
  • City or county tree ordinances.
  • Contact list of offices, boards, groups or individuals involved in tree planning, maintenance and public education.
  • List of public and accessible private arboretums, gardens, parks and forests.

Local Tree Stewards and Tree History

This section is to provide the context of the local EMG TS group(s) and activities, as well as significant historical tree info of local importance.  Such items could include:

  • EMG TS roster.
  • History of past and ongoing TS projects (not just past intern projects).
  • VCE Agent goals regarding local tree issues or ecological concerns.
  • VA Dept of Forestry Urban Tree programs in the area.
  • Local guide books and Tree Trail maps.
  • Virginia Big Tree Champions in the local area.


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Tree Steward Manual Copyright © 2021 by Virginia Cooperative Extension is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.