Online open house underway for Edmonds’ Urban Tree Plan

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This figure and chart show the relative amounts of cover in Edmonds, with the largest portions comprised of impervious surface, trees and grasses/mixed vegetation, in that order.

A virtual open house and a survey about an Urban Forest Management Plan for Edmonds have been posted online at: urbanforest.edmondswa.gov. The City of Edmonds invites people to learn more and weigh in on key issues at this early stage.

“Urban forest” simply means trees in a city environment. A “management plan” for the urban forest is a plan that identifies information and recommended policies about managing trees.

The city’s development of an Urban Forest Management Plan follows up on a previous attempt to propose new regulations for managing trees throughout the city. New regulations were not adopted, but the Edmonds City Council authorized development of an Urban Forest Management Plan.

The current effort focuses mostly on city-owned properties and public rights of way. To some extent, it may address trees on private property, especially where trees provide critical wildlife habitat. It will also provide information on the city-wide tree canopy and identify public education priorities.

A “real-time” public open house was held in June. (See our story on that event here.) The Citizens Tree Board and the Planning Board held additional public meetings to give input.

New online information includes a short video about the plan that will be developed and a link to a survey about tree management issues. The online open house and survey will be available through Sept. 8.

“We hope that more people will be aware of the value of trees and what’s needed to ensure the right trees will be in the right locations and managed properly, especially in public places.” ,” said Shane Hope, the City’s Development Services Manager, who is overseeing the project.

A first draft of the Urban Forest Management Plan is expected sometime this fall. More public input will be invited. Then the draft plan will be revised and brought to the City Council in early 2018 for possible adoption.

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