Homeowner associations, condominium associations and other community associations manage huge amounts of private and public land, often with many trees. Managing these lands with a view to a sustainable future can have a huge impact on the numbers and health of trees. The Community Trees Program of the The Morton Arboretum offers help to these associations to encourage tree stewardship.
In the seven-county Chicago metropolitan area, 21 percent of all residential land is under association management, usually by a volunteer board and a professional property manager. Their combined common areas--the areas directly managed by association boards--total 27,623 acres.
SLRCA (Sustainable Landscape Resources for Community Associations) is a program aimed at helping community associations manage their properties more sustainably. The program provides guidelines to help educate volunteer board members to make choices about landscape management that are best for residents, trees, and the nvironment in the long term. These sustainable choices often also result in cost savings.
These online resources may be printed and taken to a committee or board meeting, or used as talking points when establishing a landscape maintenance contract
SLRCA was guided by a team of nonprofits and experts in the business fields of landscape maintenance, tree care, community association management and property management. A partnership with the Midwest Ecological Landscape Alliance (MELA) has provided the web-based tools available today.