Who we are

My Tree Tracker is a special initiative of Earthwatch Institute in partnership with local non-profits and managers to connect people with nature in urban communities through citizen science. Combining community action and volunteering, My Tree Tracker allows volunteers to contribute to local environmental management plans and scientific research, by tracking the growth and survivorship of city trees. At the same time, volunteers gain greater awareness of urban ecology.

Since 1971, Earthwatch has been dedicated to its mission of engaging people in worldwide scientific field research and education in order to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable future.

Where we work

Earthwatch started its urban forest program in 2012 in the Boston Metro area of Massachusetts and continues to be active in this region. Projects have also been carried out in San Francisco, CA in 2012-13, Atlanta, GA in 2013, and Chicago, IL in 2013.

Have a project in your community? Contact us! We are interested in partnerships in new cities throughout North America.

What we do

Trees within urban landscapes make up the urban forest. These trees provide a wealth of benefits called ecosystem services. These services include climate change mitigation, storm water filtration, and energy conservation. But a city is a harsh environment for a tree. Many will fail to grow into a healthy mature tree: some may contract diseases or be victim to harmful pests; still more may be removed before ever reaching full size.

Just a few simple measurements tracked over time greatly improve knowledge about the health, longevity, and impact of trees in our urban centers.

We involve interested participants in data collection for both scientific research and local management of urban trees. My Tree Tracker allows people to track, map, and understand urban trees and their ecosystem service values.

Visit our Science and Tools pages to learn more about our science and how we do it.

Who we partner with

Earthwatch seeks interesting partners and people to join us in working to increase the understanding and appreciation of a healthy urban forest in creating sustainable urban environments.

The management of urban street trees, parklands, and forests is an integral and active part of urban planning to ensure vibrant green space and ecosystem services for cities and municipalities. We are partnering with local nonprofit organizations focused on planting trees, land managers who can make decisions about tree management, scientists who ask questions and analyze data to figure out how trees are responding to the environment, technology specialists who build innovative tools to engage people in data collection, and groups of people who come out to measure trees with us.

Our Current and Past Partners include: