Monitoring Data Collection Methods in the Urbanized Pacific Northwest

        Monitoring Data Collection Methods in the Urbanized Pacific Northwest

          Article summary

          The Green City Partnerships are public-private ventures between local municipalities (parks departments, public works, utilities, and other government agencies), community groups, and Forterra. In order to understand the success, value, and effectiveness of their restoration activities, the Green Cities have implemented a set of Standardized Monitoring protocols. Monitoring protocols are collection procedures that can be replicated over time to measure change in site characteristics.The recorded information is then used to show the composition and structure of a site, which can be an important indicator of overall forest health.

          In a nutshell, this resource offers:

          • A quantitative way to evaluate restoration progress that allows for comparisons and generalizations across sites, parks, and municipalities over time.
          • A way to improve understanding of the effectiveness of restoration techniques, providing information to adapt management techniques when necessary.
          • Protocols to collect the following information: size and quantity of trees, extent of invasive plant cover, cover of shrubs, vines, and ground cover, size and quantity of dead snags and coarse woody debris, and site characteristics, including soil type, aspect, and slope.
          • Details the process and procedures of the stages of data collection, preparation of equipment and materials, plot setup, photo monitoring, plot characteristics, vegetation assessments, tree assessments, and data entry and analysis. 
          • Detailed descriptions of equipment and tools.

          How to use this resource:

          • Plan for, prepare, and prioritize the steps and procedures for data collection and monitoring methods.
          • A guide to standardized methodologies and protocols for data entry and analysis.
          • A guide to troubleshooting answers for typical challenges and obstacles, both in the field and in processing data.
          • Methods to enhance the long-term sustainability of urban natural areas by removing invasive plants and maintaining functional ecosystems.

          Author: Green City Partnerships, with assistance from theCity of Seattle Parks and Recreation, City of Kent Parks Recreation and Community Services, City of Kirkland Parks and Community Services, City of Redmond Parks and Recreation, Metro Parks Tacoma, City of Tacoma, EarthCorps, and Forterra.

          Date published: 2019

          Point of contact: Jason Lederer, Director of Land Management, 

          Citation: Green City Partnerships;City of Seattle Parks and Recreation; City of Kent Parks Recreation and Community Services; City of Kirkland Parks and Community Services; City of Redmond Parks and Recreation; Metro Parks Tacoma; City of Tacoma; EarthCorps; Forterra. 2019. Monitoring Data Collection Methods. Green City Partnerships. 46 p.

          Resource is available online here.


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