Thanks to our 2008 sponsors:

City of Hollywood, Florida


Society of Municipal Arborists


What Is the Exchange Program?

SMA is offering an exchange program for municipal arborists located around the world.  SMA and contributing sponsors will fund airfare and basic expenses for professional exchanges within the next year, which will take place in spring or summer of 2009.  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 SMA. 

Why Sponsor an Exchange Program?

The purpose is to create a way for municipal arborists to exchange urban forestry expertise, management 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.  One can apply immediately upon joining.  A candidate must be employed within the urban forestry profession, preferably as a municipal arborist, 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.  Municipal arborists from communities participating in the Sister City International Program that propose an exchange with a sister city are especially encouraged to apply.  One-way exchange selections will be based on the applicant’s programmatic needs and the potential for a viable learning experience. 

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 for the SMA journal “City Trees” about what he or she learned and experienced for the interest of the SMA membership.

What Is the Deadline?

All applications must be received by September 26, 2008.  Awardees will be notified by December 1, 2008.  The timeframe for the exchanges will be determined by the participants with the assistance of the SMA program coordinators. 

Questions can be sent by email to [email protected].  (You may have to email twice due to a spam filter.)