89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor Seeks Feedback on Urban and Community Forest Plan

Feb 26, 2014

Ann Arbor’s publicly maintained trees are in fair to good condition according to the city’s Urban Forestry and Natural Resources Planning Coordinator Kerry Gray.   Maintenance efforts have been hurt by budget cutbacks and the need to deal with the Emerald Ash Borer. 

The city is now seeking feedback on a draft plan to create a sustainable and healthy urban forest. 

A portion of Ann Arbor's urban forest in Burns Park
Credit Andrew Cluley

Kerry Gray says the plan includes a variety of recommendations.  Gray says these are highlighted by a pro-active tree maintenance program, monitoring threats, a street tree master plan, and increasing volunteerism in supporting the urban and community forest.  Overall there are 17 recommendations in the plan. 

A study finds the nearly 50-thousand trees owned by the city along streets and in maintained areas of parks have an annual economic benefit of $4.6 million.  This includes reducing stormwater run-off, improving quality of water entering local rivers and streams, improving air quality, and conserving energy.

Feedback will be accepted through March 28th.  After getting community feedback the plan will be reviewed by several city commissions and eventually go to City Council for approval.

A link to the draft report can be found here.

— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him acluley@emich.edu.