City of Wilmington Develops Urban Forest Action Plan; Public Comment Period Ends August 1

Posted on  06/16/2014 3:47 pm

Comments may be submitted by calling (302) 576-2582 or emailing forestrycomments@WilmingtonDE.gov

The urban tree canopy that we enjoy today is the result of the vision and investment by people who have come before us and it is only right and fitting that we invest in the urban forest for our children and grandchildren. It is estimated that Wilmington’s urban forest provides $166 million in benefits related to carbon storage, carbon sequestration, pollution removal, building energy savings, avoided carbon emissions, and Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) mitigation.

The City of Wilmington has developed an Urban Forest Action Plan that provides an overview of the urban forest and a vision and policies for the future. This Action Plan has been developed to provide guidance to the City’s Urban Forestry Program while the full Master Plan is under development. The full Master Plan intends to address issues comprehensively, including actions that are the responsibility of a wide variety of partners. In contrast, this Action Plan is focused on setting performance targets for actions that support increasing the number of trees in the City, and caring for mature trees.

This plan has been developed by the Urban Forest Administrator in the Department of Public Works in consultation with Wilmington’s Tree Commission as well as a variety of community stakeholders. Two public meetings were held to solicit input about the vision, goals, and key actions, and comments from those meetings were incorporated into this plan. The Vision describes the kind of future that the community desires for its forest resource. The Goals provide an over-arching framework and general direction for achieving the vision and the Key Actions outline specific tasks to undertake within a given time frame to implement the goals. Together, these three pieces of the plan provide a comprehensive approach for improving Wilmington’s Urban Forest.

A copy of the Action Plan can be downloaded at www.WilmingtonDE.gov/government/urbanforestplan. Comments may be submitted by calling (302) 576-2582 or emailing forestrycomments@WilmingtonDE.gov until Friday, August 1.

Vision for Wilmington’s Urban Forest

In 2030 . . .

Wilmington has a healthy, resilient urban forest with over 338,000 trees. For years, the City has planted over 11,000 new trees each year. People in every neighborhood enjoy the beauty and shade of trees on city streets and in public spaces. Active volunteer and education programs build appreciation for trees among children and people of all ages. Strong support for tree plantings and tree care continues to maintain and expand the urban forest. City government plays a leading role in funding, administering, and implementing green infrastructure.

Goals for Wilmington’s Urban Forest

  1. Maintain and improve Wilmington’s urban tree canopy
  2. Optimize Wilmington’s level of investment in trees
  3. Promote the environmental, economic, social, and aesthetic benefits of urban trees through outreach and education
  4. Build a coalition of community support for urban trees
  5. Promote Wilmington as a tree-friendly city
  6. Develop options for using wood “waste”