Master of Environmental Studies Capstone Projects

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Presented to the Faculties of the University of Pennsylvania in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Environmental Studies 2012.


Management of the urban forest in a city the size of Philadelphia requires the cooperation and partnership of a variety of organizations and individuals. Philly Tree People (PTP), a neighborhood-based tree planting and tree care non-profit organization, has made a considerable contribution to growing and maintaining the urban forest in their service area, the 19125 and 19134 zip codes of Philadelphia, PA, and is one of the partners in management of the urban forest. Currently, the organization does not have a streamlined solution for managing the data about the activities and services it performs or that occur in the urban forest within their service area. They are in need of (1) a better way to manage information about the urban forest in their service area; (2) access to integrated data about the current urban forest in their service area with the ability to search, sort, map, and plan and prepare for service and maintenance; (3) new ways to market to residents within their service area that they are not reaching with current marketing and outreach methods; and (4) a strategy to take advantage of sustainable and diverse funding opportunities. This capstone addresses the four needs described above. This project includes the merger of disparate administrative data sets into a searchable and sortable data set about the urban forest within the PTP service area. ArcGIS is used to map the administrative data available so that it can be queried and used to answer questions about the service area. Marketing and outreach suggestions for those areas that have been identified with mapping as being in need of trees are also incorporated. The ultimate goal is to help position the organization to continue their success into the next five years and beyond.



Date Posted: 13 January 2014