Posted by Ashley Carlton on Sun, Oct 18, 2015 @ 9:39 PM
Winter Park, Florida Goes Out on a Limb:
As with every July, another essential collection of 50-50 matching grants have been issued by the Director of the Florida Forest Service, and the recipients are already endeavoring on essential and compelling projects and initiatives… “to develop or enhance their urban and community forestry programs.”
The City of Winter Park’s Urban Forestry Division was awarded a $20,000 grant, with the city matching those funds.
These essential funds mark the beginning of the third phase of a project to phase out dead or sickly trees with new ones. It is expected that the project’s completion in the Orange County suburb will span across several years.
“The grant was presented to Winter Park for its partial rights of way tree inventory, and this partial inventory will assist the city in managing rights of way maintenance cycles,” as stated in a recent article in the Orlando Centennial.
The Urban Forestry Management Plan confirms, “In 2005, the city hired ArborPro, Inc., a full service urban forestry and software consulting company to perform an inventory of right of way (ROW) trees.” This proactive decision was in part to a devastating hurricane season in 2004, and the canopy is still recovering ten years later. In 2012, a risk assessment study was performed by ArborPro, Inc. on several hundred of those trees.
Fortunately, Winter Park’s Urban Forestry Division seems to be up to the task, and make available for public knowledge their plans and resources on their main webpage. Resources include a robust list of trees ideal for not only creating diversity in the urban canopy, but also the ideal placement of the tree species, such as along streets and sidewalks.
“The city’s urban forest consists of over 75,000 trees on private and public property and there are over 25,000 trees in city rights of way…” and an estimated third of that population will require removal in the next several years. Moving forward, an emphasis will be put on creating more diversity in the tree species, as the tree populace is imbalanced by a majority of mature trees on a decline, making them more susceptible to hurricane damage, disease, and drought.
Though each local community and environment is unique, Winter Park has found the steps towards an attentive, responsible, successful program, and deciding to do so creates a successful future that any urban forest could enjoy.
photo credit . Winter Park, FL – Ebyabe