Virginia Beach Selected as Training Site for Urban Forestry Storm Response

Practice drill in public areas to take place September 10-12

Friday, September 06, 2013

The Virginia Department of Forestry, in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, has selected the City of Virginia Beach to host a practice drill in Hampton Roads conducted by the Urban Forestry Strike Team. From Tuesday, September 10 through Thursday, September 12, residents of Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Portsmouth may notice some unusual activity in certain public areas that is intended to both test and demonstrate the Strike Team’s capabilities following a mock hurricane.


The City of Virginia Beach Department of Parks & Recreation’s Landscape Management Office will serve as the command center for the regional arboriculture exercise simulating response to a natural disaster involving widespread loss of trees in the city. Personnel from Fairfax County and the state forestry agencies in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, will also participate in the practice drill.  The exercise will provide a positive training opportunity for the Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation Landscape Management arborists and landscape inspectors as they collaborate with urban forestry experts from other states completing rapid tree assessments and accelerated requests for emergency assistance.


Some park sites and public areas identified for the Urban Forestry Strike Team Exercise may include Woodstock Park (5709 Providence Road), Lynnhaven Parkway (from Princess Anne Road to Virginia Beach Blvd), Munden Point Park (2001 Pefley Lane), Laskin Road (from First Colonial to Birdneck Roads), General Booth Blvd (from Nimmo Pkwy to Rudee Bridge), City View Park (2073 Kempsville Road), Red Wing Park (1398 General Booth Blvd), and Virginia Beach Blvd (from Witchduck to Rosemont Roads).

Strike Team members will be in uniform as they conduct assessments of the street trees “damaged or destroyed” by the mock hurricane. In addition to handheld electronic equipment, some of the team members may have on backpacks with GPS antennae that will record exact locations of the trees they inspect.


For more information about this mock exercise or information regarding City of Virginia Beach Urban Forestry, please contact Susan French at 385-4461 or


Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation’s vision is a balanced, sustainable and value-focused system of parks, recreation and public spaces that creates a sense of community. We are accredited by CAPRA, the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association.  For more information, call (757) 385-1100 (TTY: 757-711 Virginia Relay), or visit . Sign up for our email newsletters at or find us on Facebook at

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