Healthy Trees – Healthy People (HT-HP) is an outreach and education program created to enlist and train participants in exotic pest detection while providing them with structured opportunities to connect with urban nature and increase their physical and emotional health. HT- HP creates infrastructure to increase engagement by the urban populace in the urban tree canopy. The program solicits participants to engage in an 8-week intervention designed to expand capacity to detect non-native insect pests and pathogens, while increasing physical activity, raising awareness of healthy lifestyle choices, and improving the health of participants. Program participants were trained in tree and tree pest identification to provide ‘eyes on the ground’ that can contribute to exotic pest detection, reducing the risk of pest establishment, and increasing the sustainability of urban tree canopies. Participants in this pilot program reported significant improvements in their knowledge of tree identification and tree care, an awareness of, and ability to identify selected exotic invasive tree pests, and improved mindfulness. Healthy Trees – Healthy People is nimble, easily adaptable, and serves as a unique model that could include tailored tree identification and pest detection. The program can engage citizen scientists in exotic pest detection while increasing usage of urban parks.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, v. 60, 127067.

© 2021 The Author(s)

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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Funding Information

This work is supported by USDA Agricultural Improvement funding, by the University of Kentucky, and by the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station (2351197000), and is published with the approval of the director.