Urban Forest Initiative

A collective of organizations and partners unified for the betterment of the Bluegrass Region through the, development, care and appreciation of our Urban Forests.

Faculty Co-Leads: Mary Arthur and Lynne Rieske-Kinney

Coordinator: Nic Williamson  


Visit UFI Website


Maxwell Hammer | 2017-2018

Major: Landscape Architecture

Class year: Junior

Project: Growing up, Max says he never knew why he liked some neighborhoods, parks, and streets better than others but through his UK education and UFI internship he has learned about the aesthetic, psychological, and economic benefits of trees.

“…I’m able to make the connection between trees and happy places.”

Max credits his experience with UFI for broadening his experiences and strengthening his understanding of the interrelationship between care of the environment and care of its human inhabitants. He believes more trees can soften the edges of the urban landscape and while benefitting its users and his internship will focus on helping Frederick Douglass High School students design a planting plan for their campus.

TFISE is proud to provide funding for his internship.

Rachel Cook | 2016 - 2017

Major: Environmental and Sustainability Studies and Natural Resources and Environmental Science

Class Year: Junior

Project: Work on expanding UFI’s outreach through website development, Adopt-a-tree and stories about UK’s tree canopy.

Amanda Williams | 2015-2016

Major: Biosystems and Ag Engineering
Class Year: Junior
Mentors: Mary Arthur and Nic Williamson, Forestry

Independent Project Title: Tree Walk: A Green Way To Get Through Campus
Amanda selected 50 trees throughout campus that will be labeled with their common name, scientific name, native range, and a QR code linking to a fun-fact relating to each tree’s species to educate students, faculty, and staff about the trees they see every day.

“Interning for the Urban Forest Initiative has enabled me to see the world differently. Through my year here, I have increased my knowledge of what it means to be sustainable and how to be so.”

 Amanda gained knowledge about sustainability on UK campus and insight into political issues in the field like the native vs. non-native debate. She gained social media and communications skills, learned through collaborative work experience and has increased her knowledge of urban forests.

Our Programs

Lecture Series

Dan Potter

January 31, 2018: Dan Potter
Pollinators, Pollution and Politics...

Jill Jonnes

April 11, 2018: Jill Jonnes
Urban Forests