As PP&R began the next phase of management of our urban forests, it became clear that we could no longer rely on the principals and procedures that we used in the past to restore and reclaim. Ecosystem are changing more rapidly than at any previous time, becoming more novel, with different species combination and altered functions, now referred to as novel ecosystems. The Urban Forestry and Ecosystem Management Division of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PPR) is using this theory to develop new approaches to restoration.

We structured this approach on a collaborative process engaging technical experts, land managers and community partners in a participatory research process, applying their knowledge, skills, and expertise to real-world problem solving. Using a specific site, we have developed project goals, treatment options, and variables to monitor and measure. Over the course of the next few years, we will continue to debate issues, raise and answer questions, establish priorities and ultimately set goals for our urban forests which will serve as management guidance for restoration work into the next century.