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1 Urban & Community Forestry 2015 Current Issue Pennsylvania Envirothon.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Urban & Community Forestry 2015 Current Issue Pennsylvania Envirothon."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Urban & Community Forestry 2015 Current Issue Pennsylvania Envirothon

2 2 Introduction The value of trees in our community is often overlooked but trees make human habitats more livable. Often we go about our days, and don’t stop to think about how trees soften the many harsh aspects of our built environment.

3 3 Key Topics: What is sustainable urban/community forestry and why is it important? What are the benefits of urban/community forests to society? What are the costs associated with urban/community forestry? What is an urban forest plan and why is it an essential tool?

4 Urban Forestry… Refers to all publicly and privately owned trees within an urban area, including: Trees along streets Trees in backyards Urban parks Landscaped boulevards Public gardens Greenways Nature preserves 4

5 5 Urban/Community Forestry is… the management of trees for their contribution to the physiological, sociological, and economic well being of the urban society. the art, science, and technology of managing trees, forests, and natural systems in and around cities, suburbs, and towns for the health and well-being of all people.

6 6 Urban/Community Forestry… Involves: selection, planting, maintenance of all trees and landscapes in an urbanized area. Is a well planned, coordinated program Involves a partnership among federal and state governmental agencies, private sector companies, organizations, and the public.

7 7 Benefits of Urban and Community Forests

8 8 Economic Benefits Attracts businesses and tourists Higher occupancy rates Higher property values Lower crime rates Good investment for their return

9 9 Economic Benefits Saves energy Cooling in hotter months Can reduce air conditioning by 30% Wind barrier during winter Can reduce heating by 20 to 50%

10 10 Environmental Benefits Sustains long-term environmental Moderates the effects of harsh weather Improves air quality Reduces noise pollution Improves water quality Reduces runoff and erosion Filters stormwater and reduces flooding Reduces wind erosion of soil Provides habitat for birds and wildlife

11 11 Community Benefits Safeguard pedestrians from traffic Provides screening and privacy Reduces noise pollution Reduces glare on sunny days

12 Aesthetic Benefits Trees add beauty and peace Trees contribute positively to our quality of life Trees can serve as a source of community pride 12

13 13 Health Benefits Creates feelings of relaxation and well-being Provides privacy and sense of solitude and security Creates recreational areas for walkers, runners, cyclists, and more Improves attention Improves physical and mental health Decreases asthma and obesity

14 14 Improvements in Air Quality Absorbs and reduces airborne pollutants Stores millions of tons of carbon Lower air temperatures - “cooling effect” of trees – in turn reduces carbon emissions from building energy use and other sources

15 Improvements in Water Quality Reduces rate and volume of storm-water runoff Absorbs some of the nutrients in the soil Helps prevent raw sewage spillover Trees, vegetation, and wetlands can help prevent flooding of sewage treatment facilities. Limits soil erosion by helping control storm- water flow. 15

16 Threats to Urban/Community Forests Insects and diseases, (i.e., gypsy moth, emerald ash borer, fungi that cause Dutch elm disease, chestnut blight,) Wildfire/fire Natural catastrophic events Invasive species Development Climate change 16

17 Why should my community do a tree inventory? To determine the need for a community program To prioritize maintenance schedules To educate the public and residents and promote the program To facilitate the planning To provide the basis for the development of a comprehensive management plan 17

18 Why should my community have a management plan? Increased Public Safety Increased Efficiency Facilitate Short- And Long-Term Planning Justify Budgets Documentation 18

19 Management Plan Components Tree Inventories Tree Inventory and Mapping Data Management Software Tree Risk Reduction Plan/Emergency Storm Response Tree Board or Advisory Council Development Public Relations and Education Urban Forest Cost/Benefit Analysis 19

20 What is a Tree Inventory? Statistically reliable survey of publicly owned and managed trees, used to determine: Location and the exact or estimated measurements of: Quantity and Quality Health and trends of the urban forest Description of other urban forest attributes: Potential planting sites, Utilities present Hardscape features 20

21 Tree Inventories Types Windshield Surveys Statistical Sample Inventories Partial Inventories Complete Inventories Using and Managing the Inventory Data Inventory Data Analysis Population Characteristics Maintenance and Planting Programs Insect and Disease Threats and Control Budgets 21

22 Tree Risk Reduction Plan/ Emergency Storm Response Plan Risk Reduction plans include: Clearing leaves and woody debris from gutters and storm drains Sidewalk, street, and building clearance standards Line-of-sight conflicts for street and safety signage Blockage of street lamps and traffic lights Conflicts with overhead and underground utilities 22

23 Tree Risk Reduction Plan/ Emergency Storm Response Plan Emergency Storm Response: Collecting and disposing of debris produced by catastrophic disasters, such as tornadoes, ice storms, hurricanes, and severe winds Managing increased: Threats to life from hanging limbs and uprooted trees Hindrance to life-saving efforts by blocked streets and driveways Power outages and power restoration efforts Personal and public property damage 23

24 24 Tree Board or Advisory Council Development Can provide a number of services, including: Educate the citizens at large Interact with elected officials Assist with maintenance tasks (small tree maintenance, mulching, planting, watering) Generate private financial donations and apply for grants They serve in an advisory capacity only

25 25 Public Relations and Education Have a computerized tree inventory and urban forest management plan accessible by the public – print hardcopy or on a website Other actions may include: Public meetings and/or seminars Monthly tree-related articles for the newspaper Letters to residents announcing tree maintenance or planting projects

26 26 Urban Forest Cost/Benefit Analysis Trees growing in any community are valuable municipal resources. They provide tangible and intangible benefits for diverse services such as: Pollution control, Energy reduction, Storm water management, Property values, Wildlife habitat, Education, Aesthetics. Benefits once considered unquantifiable, now can be calculated using models contained in i-Tree software and current tree inventory information.

27 Urban Forest Cost/Benefit Analysis Benefits to the public works manager: Obtaining economic evaluations for street trees to assess management program Justification for funding and performing strategic planning Gaining more public support Determining the annual amount of pollution removed by the urban forest, the amount of carbon sequestered, the amount of energy consumption reductions, and estimated increases in property values and aesthetics

28 28 Models and Tools i-Tree – Suite of software tools to help users identify and manage the structure, function, and value of urban tree populations. Leafsnap Forest Service Web sites - U.S. Forest Service, State forestry agencies, etc. Arbor Day Foundation Tree City U.S.A.

29 29 Thank you for your learning about Urban and Community Forestry!


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