*TREE CITY USA
Urban Forestry in the Tualatin River Basin
|Made in the shade: Half of the City of Durham Oregon is covered by tree canopy.|
One city has decided not to be content with the current situation. Tigard City Council adopted an Urban Forestry Master Plan to increase tree canopy from its current level of 25% to 40% citywide by 2047. Tigard provide incentives for developers to protect tree groves and gives away free street trees to Tigard residents.
Many cities participate in the Tree City USA program which sets standards for urban forestry. They have achieved Tree City USA status by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day. Local cities that have attained Tree City USA status are indicated in the table above.
Tigard’s program takes steps to prevent pre-development clearing. Often developers will clear a property prior to annexation in order to avoid tree mitigation fees. Loss of tree canopy from pre-development clearing increases stormwater runoff, reduces property values, and eliminates ecosystem services in a way that does not make economic sense. Tigard contacts property owners in newly urbanizing areas and provides incentives and flexible regulation that reduces the loss of tree canopy.
|Pre-development clearing like this on South Cooper Mountain adds to urban runoff and makes no economic sense.|
Volunteers have a tremendous role in increasing tree canopy in our cities. Groups like Friends of Trees and Tualatin Riverkeepers have many opportunities to plant trees in the fall, winter and spring.