Programs & Services

Search EMNRD

Urban and Community Forestry

  1. Home
  2. Urban and Community Forestry

A group of people gather around a newly planted treeThe Urban and Community Forestry Program helps communities develop and sustain healthy urban forests.

We do this through a variety of services:

  • Technical assistance for development of local community forestry programs, tree care, training for professionals, planning and outreach efforts, and support of community events;
  • Grant funding for tree planting and support of local urban forestry programs;
  • Coordinating volunteer events and K-12 education opportunities; and
  • Building partnerships and identifying unique funding opportunities that help meet individual community goals.

For more information contact Alyssa O’Brien at alyssa.o’

What is a Community Forest?

Community forests include all trees, vegetation, and associated natural resources within and around an inhabited area. Community trees include park trees, trees along streets and neighborhoods, and any trees within the wildland-urban interface between communities and adjacent forestlands. Urban forests deliver tremendous value to communities and the people that live there.

A grove of trees in bright sunlight
A tree seedling with a shovel behind it
An adobe home with a tree outside

Benefits from the Community Forest

Trees are vital to communities, and human and environmental health. They contribute to:

  • Reduced storm water runoff;
  • Improved air and water quality;
  • Increased property values;
  • Improved quality of life for citizens;
  • Increased economic development opportunities; and
  • Reduced energy use at homes and businesses.

“Plan Smart, Rethinking Green” A Toolkit for New Mexico’s Communities: Maximizing the Benefits from Trees

Climate Ready Trees

The Climate Ready Trees Program is designed to identify climate adaptable tree species that can survive current conditions and climatic changes over the next century and introduce these species into our urban landscape. Using climate modeling, The Nature Conservancy determined future climate zones for New Mexico, then a rigorous review protocol evaluated potential trees species’ adaptability and tolerances to urban and climate conditions. Now demonstration sites are needed to introduce these new species into the urban landscape and to inform both nursery growers and the public about these new species.

Municipalities or public schools may apply to have public spaces that they own and are open to the public within New Mexico become Climate Ready Demonstration Sites (Demonstration Sites). These sites will provide educational opportunities for the public and allow for observations on how Climate Ready Trees perform under local and regional conditions.

Read more about Goals & Requirements for Climate Ready Trees.

Demonstration Site Application. 

Monitoring Form.



START HERE! Use this evaluation tool to assess your community’s green planning decisions and identify how you can make your community better. Submit your completed form and we will help you develop a plan and locate tools, resources, and funding opportunities.


Let’s Plant ABQ

Urban and community forests are vital in combating climate change. Trees provide cooling shade, reduce energy costs, clean our air and water, and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The City of Albuquerque Let’s Plant ABQ campaign aims to plant 100,000 trees across the city by 2030 by local individuals and organizations. Learn more about the program and how it could be a model for your community here.

The Tool Kit

Use this tool kit to learn about the benefits that trees can bring to your community. This resource provides you with information that you need to know, examples of New Mexico Communities getting it done, what you can do, and where you can get help.

Fact Sheets: Easy-to-use resource information for increasing community awareness.

Living Smart

Planning Smart

Communicate Smart

Water Smart

Project Desert Canopy – Growing a Healthier Community

The Project Desert Canopy produced community forest assessments in Las Cruces, Albuquerque, El Paso, and Phoenix, AZ that quantified current ecosystem services being provided, including improved air quality, energy conserved, carbon sequestered, and much more.

These assessments helped demonstrate just some of the economic and health benefits realized from our desert southwest urban forests. The data can be used to help develop and implement municipal goals and community forest strategies for New Mexico communities.

Project Brochure

Las Cruces Fact Sheet

Albuquerque Fact Sheet


NeighborWoods Tree Giveaway 2022

Celebrate NeighborWoods Month in October by becoming an Arbor Day Foundation Tree City or Campus!

Programs Offered Here!

Resources Available


Tree City USA

Download Link Title

Small description


Tree Campus USA


Tree Board University

A unique online resource for members of local planning commissions, parks boards, beautification committees, urban forestry commissions, or other local advisory committees that deal with tree issues.

For Communities

For Homeowners


New Mexico Centennial Re-Leaf

Urban Forest Council Scholarships

Think Trees Conference 2022

Urban Forest Council Scholarships

Land Water Summit 2022



New Mexico Tree Plotter

Urban and Community Forestry Strategic Plan

New Mexico Urban Forest Council Workshop: Community Forest Inventories



Tree New Mexico


New Mexico Municipal League


Think Trees New Mexico


ISA-Rocky Mountain Chapter


NMSU Cooperative Extension Service


New Mexico Landscape Architects


New Mexico Xeriscape Council

Forest Service LogoFunding for this program is provided by the USDA Forest Service. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.