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Urban Forestry Management Plan is being developed - community input, public education and outreach are important

CanopyPlazaMarket - CopyThe city’s Streets & Grounds division is in the process of developing an Urban Forestry Management Plan funded by an Urban and Community Forestry Grant awarded by the Forestry Division of the Florida Forest Service.  Ultimately, the plan will address a broad range of long term goals and objectives.

An online community survey is now available (or you can print a paper copy here). Public input will be gathered through this survey, collecting data regarding people’s impression of our current tree canopy, what suggestions our community has to offer, and how the future of St. Augustine’s urban forestry program is envisioned.  We encourage the public to take the survey and share it with friends and neighbors in the St. Augustine community. This survey will be available through September 10, 2017. 

The Urban Forestry Management Plan when completed will provide an organizational framework for the city’s urban forestry program, continue tree inventory development and assessment activities, and establish street-tree planting opportunities and guidelines.  The plan will also provide for identifying opportunities to increase and improve tree canopy and mitigate tree damage and risk as it relates to proper planting practices, canopy maintenance and severe weather.

An additional critical component of the management plan is community involvement. Through education opportunities and by engaging the community through public surveys, workshops and correspondence. 

Over the last five years, the city has conducted tree inventories and provided tree inventory reports for the years 2012, 2014 and 2016.  These inventory reports are provided as the result of a Tree Survey and Risk Assessment, as specified in the Tree Inventory Application submitted for the Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program. 

The purpose of the inventories is to assess the current conditions of more than 1300 trees on the city right-of-ways, assigned parks and public use areas, to make recommendations to reduce risk, and to make recommendations to maintain healthy trees and improve health and structural problems.  The reports are available here.