Group helping replant Albuquerque neighborhoods


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  An Albuquerque organization of self-proclaimed “tree geeks” are on a mission to help the city collect data on the metro’s tree canopy, with the help of drones. The Dakota Tree Project is a nonprofit that works with the community on planting trees, maintaining local trees, and educating residents in order to enhance the quality of life in the city.

Co-founders Marc and Pamela Powell are working with the Nob Hill Neighborhood Association as the Tree Canopy Restoration Committee to maintain the neighborhood trees, a strategy to keep residents and trees healthy. “As a committee, we’ve been trying to figure out how do we quickly begin to develop a plan that will allow us to effectively replant our neighborhood because all of our trees are beginning to age out and die,” Marc said. “We need to have a strategic plan to really be effective at making sure our neighborhood retains its character.”

They hope to help the city catch up on their promise of planting up to 100,000 trees within the next 10 years. “As hard as the city tries, we don’t have enough people in the forestry division to do this. The city has so many things it’s trying to do, we just decided, ‘You know what? Neighborhoods can start this,'” Marc said.

The organization is currently fundraising to reach its goal of about $5,000 in order to get it matched to fund the entire project. This includes hiring a licensed arborist to look at the data collected and creating a detailed plan of how to move forward. “We couldn’t have even done this five years ago. Because without drones, this is a hugely expensive and time-consuming effort because you’ve got volunteers who would have to literally walk street by street and make notes,” Marc said. “This is going to be a much more efficient and much more detailed process.”

They hope near the end of summer that they’ll be able to start the mapping process. Marc said they’re not even looking for 100% detail for every single neighborhood. They figure, if they can get 25% to 30% of the neighborhood, that will give enough detail for them to be able to draw larger conclusions.

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