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 What Is the Exchange Program?

The Arborist Exchange Program offers municipal foresters, utility arborists, and tree non-profit managers around the world the opportunity to engage with colleagues, and experience urban forestry challenges and successes in varying political and cultural settings.

The Program funds airfare and basic expenses for professional exchanges. Each participant will spend at least one week visiting and working with another city’s forestry department. An "exchange" may be "two-way", meaning that paired participants take turns hosting the other, or "one-way", where a selected participant only visits a willing host city identified and approved by the Arborist Exchange Committee (comprised of representatives from the Society of Municipal Arborists, Alliance for Community Trees, Utility Arborist Association, and Cities4Forests).

Why Have an Arborist Exchange Program?

The purpose is to create a way for urban forest managers to exchange expertise, ideas and technology through “in-person” contact and on-site experience. What better way to find out how other forestry practitioners operate than to spend time with each other? We have much to learn from other programs in our own countries and around the world, and we each have much to offer. Not only will the program facilitate the transfer of knowledge, it will help foster an international community of municipal arborists.

Who Can Apply?

A candidate must be a member of SMA, ACT, UAA, or Cities4Forests. One can apply immediately upon joining. A candidate must be employed within the urban forestry profession for at least two years. Knowledge of a second language is helpful but not essential, although the application must be submitted in English. For a two-way exchange, a chosen participant (or the host municipality) must be able to provide lodging for the visiting participant (private homes are encouraged). The willingness to host a visiting municipal arborist increases the chance of being selected.

How Will Selections Be Made?

Two-way exchange pairings will be made by our selection committee on a “best match” basis. The number of participants will depend on available funding. Selected participants will most likely be from cities of similar size and climate, and speak a shared language. Ideally, each forestry program will have or do something that the other can learn from - a unique or exemplary program, site condition, problem, etc. The selection committee will consider if an applicant wishes to have an exchange with someone from a preferred city, country, or region. One-way exchange selections will be based on the applicant’s programmatic needs and the potential for a viable learning experience. Cross-organizational exchanges are encouraged!

What Is Required From Selected Participants?

Participants will spend at least one full work week with the host city’s forestry department or arborist. Each participant will be required to write an article about what he or she learned and experienced, for use in partner organizations’ media outlets.

What Is the Deadline?

All applications must be uploaded by Monday, December 6, 2021. Awardees will be notified by January 15, 2022. The timeframe for the exchanges will be determined by the participants, with assistance from the Arborist Exchange Committee.

How Do I Apply?

1. Download the application alt and complete all questions, with none omitted.

2. Save your completed application to your desktop

3. Upload and submit your completed application from your desktop to SMA using the online submission form.

Questions can be sent by email to [email protected].

CEUs apply.