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Want to move yourself or your Urban Forestry Program to the next level?
The Municipal Forestry Institute (or MFI) may be able to take you there! MFI is an exciting, high-level training opportunity educating professionals in the leadership and managerial aspects of urban forestry. This week-long intensive educational program delivers a challenging opportunity to grow a more successful community tree program. Come learn and master leadership and management tools of program administration, coalition building, strategic thinking, program planning, and public relations by investing a week in your personal growth and development.

Why should you attend?
This is a unique leadership and professional development opportunity you won’t find elsewhere. A team of dedicated urban forestry professionals from across North America will help you gain insights in to how you can move from a good urban forestry program to a great one. You will have the opportunity to learn from and network with urban forestry professionals from large cities and small towns, state and federal agencies,and non-profit organizations. MFI is an investment in your professional future - one that could pay great dividends to you and your city.

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What does MFI Cover?
The Institute curriculum was developed by a team of urban forestry professionals and educators with dozens of years experience in leading urban foresry programs at the local, state, federal, and non-profit levels. There are four major components of the MFI curriculum:

  • Developing A Leadership Approach To Your Position

  • Thinking and Planning Strategically to Advance Urban Forestry Programs

  • Working Effectively with Boards, Coalitions, and Non-Profit Organizations

  • Managing the Relationship Between People and Trees

The curriculum is presented in a variety of formats including lectures, multi-media presentations, panel discussions, group exercises, and real-life scenarios.

Registration Details 
The all-inclusive registration investment of $1799.00 for SMA Members* or $1999.00 for non-members for MFI 2014 covers the following:

  • All course materials

  • Five nights hotel lodging (Sunday through Thursday)

  • All meals from Sunday dinner through Friday lunch

  • Ground Transportation from Omaha airport and back

*Not an SMA Member? Join SMA Now!

CEUS Available
Municipal Specialist
SAF Certified Forester
APA/AICP Certified Planner

Who should attend?
People who plan, manage, and administer urban forestry programs and who want to become more effective leaders and managers. Past MFI classes have included over 850 City Foresters and City Arborists, Urban Foresters, Municipal Arborists, Planners, Tree Wardens, State Urban Forestry Staffs and Municipal Tree Advocates



"MFI delivers on its promise to mold leaders in urban forestry." - John McNeil, Oakville, ON, Canada

"The MFI experience was truly a significant learning opportunity which has been transformational for me personally and career-wise." - Dena Kirtley, Sacramento, CA, USA

"The greatest benefits of MFI comes not from what you learn during the week, but from how you apply what you've learned to everyday following. For me, MFI was about forging new relationships, setting better goals, and seeing things differently." - Ben Thompson, Olympia, WA, USA

"Find a way to be a part of this educational experience! It is the most practical (and fun) training I have had as an urban forester." - C. David Grant, Monroe, NC, USA

The 2014 MFI will be held at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center at the Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebraska, about one hour south of Omaha, NE. For additional details, visit the Arbor Day Farm website at Please note that you may NOT reserve a lodging room for MFI through that website.

This acceptance email will contain travel guidance for you, including letting you know about group transportation arrangements from the Omaha airport to the Arbor Day Farm.

Organizers and Sponsors
The MFI 2014 is a program of the Society of Municipal Arborists, and is organized in cooperation with other groups such as the Arbor Day Foundation and the USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry program. Sponsorship opportunities for MFI 2014 are available by contacting Jerri LaHaie at


MFI 2014: What to Expect 
Required Institute Pre-Work
Part of the MFI experience involves mandatory readings and online discussions that will be held during January and early February, 2014. If you’re accepted into MFI 2014, you’ll need a valid email address and internet access from work or home. Plan on spending about 2 hours a week for 5 to 7 weeks on the Institute Pre-Work.

The MFI 2014 instructional staff comes with decades of experience in all phases of urban forestry, at the municipal, state, federal, private, and non-profit levels. Most MFI teaching teams have over 100 years combined urban forestry expertise.

MFI Week Schedule
MFI is an intensive learning experience. You must be able to attend from 4 pm on Sunday until 1 pm on Friday. There are numerous breaks and a little free time, but the event involves a rather demanding and time-intensive schedule. Though there are sights to see in the area, plan to see them before or after, not during MFI. Your full attendance will be required at every session - partial attendance is not possible. Also, sorry but pets, spouses, and children or guests can not be accommodated at MFI.

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