posted on March 20, 2017 15:13
The Department of Public Works has completed a Tree Management Plan to guide its efforts over the next 20 years. It was funded by a 2015 grant from the NYS Urban and Community Forestry Council, with Technical support was provided by Urban Forest Analytics LLC, based in Geneva NY. A formal presentation of the plan, open to the public, will be given at City Hall at 5:00pm on Wednesday March 22, 2017
The primary goal of the Plan is to establish a substantially enlarged and healthier tree population whose larger canopy cover at maturity will supply a significant increase in benefits to the City. Such benefits include environmental services such as carbon dioxide storage and energy use reduction, and can be assigned a monetary value using the i-Tree software developed by the USDA Forest Service. Results show that for every $1 invested by the City of Batavia in the trees on streets and in parks, the community currently receives back about $1.34 in environmental benefits.
Many social benefits have been demonstrated by recent research: reduced road rage, improved worker productivity, increased social ties and neighboring, better physical and mental health, greater consumer activity, etc. Though more difficult to equate with monetary value than environmental benefits, these are of equal importance for the City’s wellbeing.
The plan lays out a two-phase approach to maximize these benefits for the entire City. Phase 1 covers the first seven years, and focuses on stabilization: removal of trees in poor condition along with replacement, and upgrading maintenance tools and techniques. Phase 2 aims for sustainability: significant increase in street tree density across the City, planning for Park planting, greater citizen involvement, etc.
The Plan and supporting documents are available online at http://www.batavianewyork.com/bureau-of-maintenance/pages/tree-documents