The Francis Cope House
One Awbury Road
Philadelphia, PA 19138
Awbury Receives Award from Preservation AllianceGIS Mapping Project with Temple University Chosen for Grand Jury Award
The Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia's annual Preservation Achievement Awards celebrate individuals, organizations, businesses and projects that exemplify outstanding achievement in the field of historic preservation throughout the region.
“Award winners this year represent the broad spectrum of building types, structures, and architectural periods that have been preserved, restored or adaptively reused in our region, and the various ways that historic preservation is defined," said Preservation Alliance Interim Executive Director Suzanna Barucco.
From Awbury's application, drafted by Awbury Board Chair, Mark Sellers: "Managing a tree collection is a daunting task, in part because the collection never stands still; trees are either growing or dying or reproducing or being damaged by weather. In the days before computerized databases an arboretum could do periodic tree surveys, but these were enormous efforts requiring lots of paper and man hours, and once the raw data was gathered the information was already going out of date.
In the spring of 2012 it became clear to the Awbury Arboretum Landscape Committee that accurate mapping of the arboretum and its trees was a necessary predicate to landscape planning and restoration efforts, and managing the maintenance of Awbury's aging trees. A GIS software package, normally costing several thousand dollars, was secured through a not-for-profit assistance program of the ESRI Corporation. A state of the art Trimble Geo XT backpack GPS mapping unit was loaned by Keystone Precision Instruments, Inc. of Allentown, P.A. Dr. Susan Lucas of the Temple University Department of Geography and Urban Studies signed on, along with a group of dedicated students, to do the actual mapping. Awbury's landscape manager, Denis Lucey, together with an intern from Temple Ambler agreed to do the species identification of the individual trees for the database, and the entire effort was supervised by landscape architect Claudia Levy of Levy DiCarlo Partners, LLC.
The mapping project has succeeded in identifying and locating over 2400 trees in the Arboretum. The data collected on each tree is its latitude/longitude coordinates, its elevation, girth at chest height, number of trunks, bark condition, and other aspects of its condition. Each tree is also given a stainless steel embossed tag with a unique number for the database.The result of this data gathering is a searchable database and a layer for a GIS map. For the first time, Awbury's staff can see a reliable map of the trees in the collection, a key tool for planning planting and maintenance."
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