Davey Resource Group, Inc.’s (DRG) arborists navigated the challenges of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders to conduct a street tree and park inventory in Big Rapids, MI.
DRG was selected by the City of Big Rapids, MI to inventory all trees on public streets and parks and to write a management plan detailing the recommendations of DRG’s arborists. Big Rapids is using the priority ratings and cost estimates in the management plan to schedule maintenance activities across the city. For taking these steps promoting public tree health, the city was awarded a $9,175 grant from the Michigan DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.
This project supports the city’s ongoing efforts to mitigate risk by immediately addressing high priority trees, transition to proactively managing all trees, and developing a sustainable urban forest that enhances community well-being. To achieve these goals, DRG included an estimated five-year budget in the management plan that schedules maintenance activities for each year, starting with high priority maintenance in the first and second years then beginning routine maintenance in the third year.
This project took an unexpected turn, which we navigated as nimbly as possible. DRG arborists were conducting the Big Rapids tree inventory in March when Michigan received its stay-at-home order in response to COVID-19. This put the project on hold until the state-wide executive order was lifted in June, when arborists could return to Big Rapids and complete the street and park tree inventory. Despite the challenging and unprecedented circumstances, we delivered the inventory data and tree management plan to the City of Big Rapids as soon as we were able to.