Providing a Road Map to a Stronger Urban Forest

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To ensure the growth, sustainability, and overall health of Tempe's urban forest and the benefits that trees provide, and in support of the goals of the City's General Plan 2030, the City of Tempe, Ariz., contracted with Davey Resource Group to develop a management plan for their urban forest program. This plan also included an i-Tree component that analyzed the value of Tempe's right-of-way trees. The resulting urban forest management plan outlined recommended strategies intended to support and grow Tempe's urban forest now and in the future.

The results of this project were presented to the City of Tempe in three separate documents. Although these documents were intended to stand alone, they are inherently interrelated and referenced to each other. Those documents included:

  • Urban Forestry Program Study - A review of the existing cultural practices and community expectations of the City's urban forest.

  • Right-of-Way Tree Resource Analysis - A scientific analysis of the current state of Tempe's urban forest, utilizing i-Tree Streets.

  • Urban Forest Management Plan - The culmination of the Study and Analysis resulting in strategies and recommendations intended to increase Tempe's return on investment in its urban forest.

The study also utilized an online survey through the city's website to allow the residents of the City of Tempe to share their views on the importance of their urban forest. Key views expressed by the residents were included in the findings of the project.

In addition to surveying residents, interviews with city staff were conducted to gain their input on existing programs within the city and their views on how a future urban forestry program should operate in the City of Tempe. Finally, an extensive review of existing plans and regulations was conducted to see where adding or strengthening these documents will support a stronger urban forestry program. Those recommendations were also included in the final project.

This "road map" gives the City of Tempe a clear path to follow for building a sustainable and viable urban forest program for the future.

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