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Course Trains Vermonters To Be Tree Stewards

Burlington--This spring the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program will offer a course for people interested in becoming stewards of trees in their communities.

The Stewardship of the Urban Landscape (SOUL) course will run from March 19 through April 26 and includes four consecutive Wednesdays and two all-day Saturday sessions (March 22 and April 26). The evening classes will be offered from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Berlin, Burlington, Middlebury, St. Johnsbury and Springfield. Saturday classes will be held in Montpelier.

Pre-registration is required. For registrations postmarked by Feb. 14, the fee is $75. After that date, it increases to $100. Individuals who are sponsored by their towns will be eligible for a $10 discount. Additional scholarship assistance also may be available.

To register or for more information, e-mail soul.treesteward@uvm.edu, call (802) 223-2389, ext. 210 or visit www.uvm.edu/extension/soul. If requiring a disability-related accommodation to participate, please contact Kate Forrer, University of Vermont (UVM) Extension Tree Steward Program coordinator, at the phone number above by Feb. 14.

The Urban and Community Forestry Program is a collaborative effort of UVM Extension and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. It has offered the SOUL course since 1996 with more than 400 graduates.

SOUL prepares participants to become tree stewards by covering topics ranging from tree identification, biology and planting to resource assessment, landscape design and conservation planning. They also learn how to work effectively at the local level including with their town officials. To become a certified tree steward, course graduates must complete 20 hours of volunteer service that will improve their community's urban and community trees and forests.

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