Posted by Ashley Carlton on Mon, Sep 28, 2015 @ 9:27 PM
Ann Arbor Upholds “Tree Town” Nickname:
In the past year, the City Council adopted a new plan for managing the urban forestry. The plan, “provides policy direction and guidance to city staff on efforts to sustainably maintain and expand the city’s tree canopy. It includes 17 recommendations, including monitoring threats to tree health.”With just under 7,000 trees in parks and over 40,000 trees along city streets, an additional one million dollars was invested in the past year to compensate for backlogged tree maintenance. Other challenges, which are shared by other widespread areas across the United States include the emerald ash borer, which “led to the removal of thousands of ash trees. .”
On the positive side, the value of urban forestry proves itself by a landslide, and it’s estimated that, “Ann Arbor’s publicly managed trees provide more than $4.6 million in benefits to the community each year, including reducing stormwater runoff, saving energy, improving air and water quality, and beautifying the city.”
This 146 page document, the Urban and Community Forest Management Plan includes seventeen “specific recommendations,” including, “Recommendation #11: Enhance and develop programs that encourage active participation by volunteers in the development and promotion of a sustainable urban and community forest.” Actions and resources have thus far followed these intentions, and the City of Ann Arbor webpage cites resources including the 2016 Tree Planting Plan. The tree planting begins this fall of 2015 in November, and spring of 2016.
The clear development of plans, resources, education, and a sense of pride all create a success story for the future of Ann Arbor’s urban forestry. It stands that by following this model, and adjusting to each unique urban forest, other cities, towns, and communities could enhance their tree population’s health and longevity as well. Maybe all our cities could strive to be “Tree Towns.”