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amy chomowiczFollow

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Test abstract

Abstract

This is a test abstract and can be deleted at any time. -- Amy

The time is ripe for Portland to take better care of our street trees!


Broad Benefits and Value - We know that street trees keep our air and water cleaner and cooler, provide habitat, improve property values, and contribute to Portland’s reputation as a green, beautiful city. The human health benefits of trees (physical, mental, emotional) are increasingly well-documented by studies from across the country.[1] What other infrastructure provides this many benefits? Portland’s street trees are valued at about $0.5 billion, and each year provide millions of dollars-worth of health and infrastructure benefits!

New City Livability Policies - Portland’s new and updated Climate Change-related plans and Comprehensive Plan herald the importance of Portland’s trees to city livability, and call for improved tree preservation, planting, and stewardship (i.e. maintenance).

Community Support - Portlanders care about their street trees. They volunteer thousandsof hours each year to plant street trees with Friends of Trees, and committed thousands of hours to complete a recent street tree inventory.

The Problem

No Street/ROW Tree Maintenance & Stewardship Program – Unfortunately, unlike a number of other cities (e.g., San Francisco, Washington DC, Vancouver BC) Portland has no comprehensive program to care for the 230,000+ trees currently planted along our streets and rights-of-way.

As a result, many street trees die sooner, aren’t as healthy as they could be, and are more prone to become public safety hazards and experience costly damage in storms.

The lack of a comprehensive street tree maintenance program creates a real barrier to meeting City tree canopy goals. Portland residents and businesses, saddled with the responsibility to care for the street trees adjacent to their property, (including fixing broken sidewalks), are often unwilling to plant new street trees. These cost burdens are highest for those who can least afford it. And, a street tree maintenance program would provide a huge opportunity to create meaningful jobs for young and/or low-income Portlanders (e.g., Verde’s model street tree planting program which employs lower-income people to improve lower-income, tree-deficient neighborhoods).

Ineffective Street Tree Preservation and Planting with Street Improvement and New Development Projects - The City experiences extensive, often needless loss of mature street trees when new street improvements and other development projects are designed and constructed. Further, new development projects often create insufficient space to plant new street trees, particularly in areas with dense development and busy streets, or in areas with un-improved or under-improved streets. And these areas need street tree planting and preservation most!

Associated disparities and inequities – Both issues exacerbate the fact that some parts of the city have lots of trees, while others have very few trees. This in turn adds to the social, environmental, and economic inequities in our city.

What’s next?

Urban Forestry Commission Proposal - Portland’s Urban Forestry Commission (UFC) has asked the City Council to form an inter-bureau task force to work, over the next year or so, with community partners and make recommendations for 1) a comprehensive Street/ROW Tree Maintenance and Stewardship program, and 2) measures to improve street tree preservation and planting in conjunction new development and street improvements.

Next Step – City Council Work Session - On May 10th, the City Council considered the UFC proposal, along with strong supporting testimony from community stakeholders. The City Council heard support for the expected benefits of the proposal, including improved public and urban forest health, livability and equity, reduced impacts of climate change, and more green jobs. The City Council unanimously 1) expressed interest in the issues, 2) accepted the UFC proposal, and 3) committed to work with key bureaus to schedule a follow up work session later this year. The work session goal is for the City Council to approve a work plan to move forward with the inter-bureau and community stakeholder collaboration outlined in the UFC proposal. The City Council Work Session is currently scheduled for Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

[1] For a local study linking low urban tree canopy to poor birth outcomes in Portland see: https://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/39615

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Oral Presentation

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no

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Environmental education, Fisheries

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Test abstract

This is a test abstract and can be deleted at any time. -- Amy

The time is ripe for Portland to take better care of our street trees!


Broad Benefits and Value - We know that street trees keep our air and water cleaner and cooler, provide habitat, improve property values, and contribute to Portland’s reputation as a green, beautiful city. The human health benefits of trees (physical, mental, emotional) are increasingly well-documented by studies from across the country.[1] What other infrastructure provides this many benefits? Portland’s street trees are valued at about $0.5 billion, and each year provide millions of dollars-worth of health and infrastructure benefits!

New City Livability Policies - Portland’s new and updated Climate Change-related plans and Comprehensive Plan herald the importance of Portland’s trees to city livability, and call for improved tree preservation, planting, and stewardship (i.e. maintenance).

Community Support - Portlanders care about their street trees. They volunteer thousandsof hours each year to plant street trees with Friends of Trees, and committed thousands of hours to complete a recent street tree inventory.

The Problem

No Street/ROW Tree Maintenance & Stewardship Program – Unfortunately, unlike a number of other cities (e.g., San Francisco, Washington DC, Vancouver BC) Portland has no comprehensive program to care for the 230,000+ trees currently planted along our streets and rights-of-way.

As a result, many street trees die sooner, aren’t as healthy as they could be, and are more prone to become public safety hazards and experience costly damage in storms.

The lack of a comprehensive street tree maintenance program creates a real barrier to meeting City tree canopy goals. Portland residents and businesses, saddled with the responsibility to care for the street trees adjacent to their property, (including fixing broken sidewalks), are often unwilling to plant new street trees. These cost burdens are highest for those who can least afford it. And, a street tree maintenance program would provide a huge opportunity to create meaningful jobs for young and/or low-income Portlanders (e.g., Verde’s model street tree planting program which employs lower-income people to improve lower-income, tree-deficient neighborhoods).

Ineffective Street Tree Preservation and Planting with Street Improvement and New Development Projects - The City experiences extensive, often needless loss of mature street trees when new street improvements and other development projects are designed and constructed. Further, new development projects often create insufficient space to plant new street trees, particularly in areas with dense development and busy streets, or in areas with un-improved or under-improved streets. And these areas need street tree planting and preservation most!

Associated disparities and inequities – Both issues exacerbate the fact that some parts of the city have lots of trees, while others have very few trees. This in turn adds to the social, environmental, and economic inequities in our city.

What’s next?

Urban Forestry Commission Proposal - Portland’s Urban Forestry Commission (UFC) has asked the City Council to form an inter-bureau task force to work, over the next year or so, with community partners and make recommendations for 1) a comprehensive Street/ROW Tree Maintenance and Stewardship program, and 2) measures to improve street tree preservation and planting in conjunction new development and street improvements.

Next Step – City Council Work Session - On May 10th, the City Council considered the UFC proposal, along with strong supporting testimony from community stakeholders. The City Council heard support for the expected benefits of the proposal, including improved public and urban forest health, livability and equity, reduced impacts of climate change, and more green jobs. The City Council unanimously 1) expressed interest in the issues, 2) accepted the UFC proposal, and 3) committed to work with key bureaus to schedule a follow up work session later this year. The work session goal is for the City Council to approve a work plan to move forward with the inter-bureau and community stakeholder collaboration outlined in the UFC proposal. The City Council Work Session is currently scheduled for Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

[1] For a local study linking low urban tree canopy to poor birth outcomes in Portland see: https://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/39615