The Urban Resources Initiative (URI) provides Yale School of the Environment students community based forestry practical experience complementing classroom theory on the relationships between the biophysical environment and the social, political and cultural life of urban dwellers. Yale students learn how to engage local urban populations to identify their environmental priorities, and implement forestry solutions to meet their needs.
URI creates these opportunities for student learning through two program efforts: Community Greenspace and GreenSkills. Now in its 21st year, Community Greenspace engages approximately 1,000 citizens each summer to identify their environmental priorities and work alongside neighbors to recover and manage these lands. Yale student interns provide technical assistance to the volunteers to undertake the community forestry activities. The GreenSkills program has employed 125 New Haven teens and 70 ex-offenders in tree planting efforts guided by Yale students over the past 5 years.