State of the Urban Forest Assessment for FAP Oct 2013


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Forest Action Plan, Georgia Forestry Commission
By Susan Granbery

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State of the Urban Forest Assessment for FAP Oct 2013

  1. 1. Georgia: The State of The Urban Forest Oct. 30, 2013 Susan Granbery Urban & Community Forestry Coordinator Georgia Forestry Commission Stone Mountain, GA
  2. 2. Georgia: The State of The Urban Forest • Benefits of the Urban Forest • Tree Loss and Impervious Surface Gain • Arbor Day Foundation Programs • Forest Service Report (CARS) Data • Tree Advocacy Groups • Georgia’s Forest Action Plan • Five Year Plan for Georgia’s Urban and Community Forest 2013 - 2017
  3. 3. Benefits of Trees Economic • Trees add 3% to 15% to home values. • Shoppers spend 9% to 12% more in central business districts with tree canopy. Environmental • Cleaner, cooler air and water • Stormwater retention and prevention of soil erosion • Carbon sequestration • Shade and reduced temperatures in the urban heat island
  4. 4. Benefits of Trees Ecosystem Services - worth $37 billion annually in Georgia • food, fresh water, timber, fiber • pollination, water absorption, climate stabilization • recreation, aesthetics, spiritual renewal • nutrient cycling, soil formation Cost of Community Services • Greenspaces increase property values of surrounding land and can provide environmental amenities for free.
  5. 5. Benefits of Trees Social • There is less graffiti, vandalism and littering in outdoor spaces with natural landscapes • 25% fewer acts of aggression and violence • 20% decrease in calls to police after greening vacant lots Health • An increase in trees showed lower early childhood prevalence of asthma • Trees motivate and encourage physical exercise • Symptoms of ADD can be reduced through activity in green settings
  6. 6. Green Cities: Good Health
  7. 7. Tree Loss and Impervious Surface Gain Between 1991 and 2005, Georgia gained 106 acres of impervious surface a day from urban sprawl. • Metro Atlanta makes up one half of the state’s impervious surface gain. Study of Georgia’s trends conducted by Dr. Liz Kramer, UGA, NARSAL
  8. 8. Atlanta: Impervious Surface Between 1991 and 2005 • Loss of 50 acres of tree canopy per day. • Gain 50 acres of impervious surface per day. NARSAL •
  9. 9. Tree Loss and Impervious Surface Gain Gainesville • Lost 15% of tree cover and gained in impervious surfaces by 106%.
  10. 10. Tree Loss and Impervious Surface Gain Dalton - Whitfield County • Gained 4% in tree cover and also gained in impervious surfaces by 78%.
  11. 11. Tree City USA Number of GA Tree City USA Communities Number of GA Tree City USA Communities 137 139 138 131 125 118 91 73 63 50 41 25 17 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 7 10 11 76 79 81 79 81 81 96 98 101 104 107 112
  12. 12. Tree City USA Communities In Chestatee-Chattahoochee RC&D • • • • • • • • Homer Lavonia Royston Clarkesville Cornelia Gainesville Hartwell Dahlonega • • • • • • • Clayton Toccoa Hiawassee, Young Harris Blairsville Cleveland Helen
  13. 13. Tree Advocacy Groups Georgia Tree Boards and Nonprofits • • • • • Plant trees Work with volunteers Raise money Support cities, provide education Arbor Day programs and much more
  14. 14. Tree Campus USA Schools Schools • Agnes Scott College • Albany Tech • Middle Georgia State College • Emory University • Georgia Tech • Gwinnett Technical College • The University of Georgia • The University of West Georgia • Valdosta State University
  15. 15. Tree Line USA Utility Companies • Snapping Shoals Electric Membership Corporation • Georgia Power • Promotes the dual goals of safe, reliable electric service and abundant, healthy trees within utility service areas.
  16. 16. Community Accomplishment Reporting City or County key urban forestry program elements • Arborist on staff • Tree group • Management plan • Tree ordinance Managing (all 4) Helen Cornelia Gainesville Dahlonega Toccoa Developing (1 to 3 elements) Cleveland Gillsville Young Harris Homer Hartwell Blairsville Dawsonville Clayton Cumming Sky Valley Clarkesville Hiawassee
  17. 17. Community Accomplishment Report Outcomes Reported in FY 2012, of Georgia’s population, • 43% lived in communities that were fully managing their urban and community trees and forests, and • 26% lived in communities that were developing programs to manage their urban and community trees and forests • 79 managed communities • 236 developing communities
  18. 18. Circuit Rider Arborists Services Meet with community officials to promote community forestry Providing technical expertise on tree management issues Writing, revising or evaluating tree ordinances. Developing effective, efficient tree boards. Working with current and potential Tree City USA communities Developing a management or storm mitigation plan. Organizing Arbor Day events Training work crews and volunteers on proper planting, pruning, etc. Using inventory software to evaluate the economic and environmental benefits • Conducting regional roundtables on topics of interest to multiple communities. • • • • • • • • •
  19. 19. Georgia Forest Action Plan Three national priorities and strategic objectives are: 1. Conserve working forest landscapes. • Identify and conserve high-priority forest ecosystems and landscapes. • Actively and sustainably manage forests. 2. Protect forests from harm. • Identify, manage and reduce threats to forest and ecosystem health.
  20. 20. Georgia Forest Action Plan 3. Enhance public benefits from trees and forests. • Protect and enhance water quality and quantity. • Improve air quality and conserve energy. • Assist communities in planning for and reducing wildfire risks. • Maintain and enhance the economic benefits and values of trees and forests. • Protect, conserve and enhance wildlife and fish habitat. • Connect people to trees and forests. • Manage and restore trees and forests to mitigate and adapt to global climate change.
  21. 21. Georgia Forest Action Plan – Urban Forestry GFC’s Strategies • GFC will initiate updated tree canopy loss and impervious surface studies and help build local capacity to manage tree canopy. • The Georgia Urban Forest Council and GFC will utilize grant and corporate funds to plant trees in communities. • GFC will help Identify and promote greenspace connectivity using an integrated green infrastructure management system. Areas of focus include metropolitan Atlanta, north Georgia and the coast. Focus on high-profile projects in these areas.
  22. 22. New Initiatives • Focus on Small Landowners – GFC is creating an online forest management tool for small landowners that own parcels less than 10 acres. • America’s Great Outdoors – National Initiative to reconnect Americans with the nation’s lands, waters and natural and cultural treasures. • Urban Waters Federal Partnership – 11 federal agencies dedicated to restoring the health of urban waters • Urban Agriculture and Agroforestry – People’s Garden Program, Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food
  23. 23. Vibrant Cities & Urban Forests Key Themes • Equity • Knowledge and research for decision making and evaluation • Collaborative and integrated planning for natural resources at a metropolitan regional scale • Engagement, education and awareness to action • Building capacity • Realignment of resources • Standard and best practices
  24. 24. National U&CF Program Goals • Mitigate and adapt to climate change • Protect and improve air and water quality • Conserve energy • Reduce the impacts of land use change, fragmentation, and urbanization on forest landscapes • Improve community health and well-being • Build urban forest resilience and mitigate the impacts of invasive pests and catastrophic events.
  25. 25. Southern States Regional U&CF Program Goals • Conduct larger statewide significant projects. • Address urban forestry issues and opportunities in major metropolitan areas. • Implement goals and objectives outlined in state forest action plans. • Focused on developing their communities’ capacity to manage the urban forest. • Tree planting (site specific) demonstration projects are allowable
  26. 26. Southern Forest Futures Project Findings • The spread of plant, insect, and disease pests could severely affect native species, forest productivity, and wildlife. • More than 1,000 plant and wildlife species of conservation concern could be threatened by urbanization, climate change, and invasive species. Challenges • Forest Fragmentation/Urbanization • Water Quality • Air Quality • Economics • Carbon Sequestration
  27. 27. Five Year Plan for Georgia’s Urban and Community Forest Goals 1. Promote Tree Canopy through Green Infrastructure 2. Increase advocacy for community forests 3. Promote the Development and Enforcement of Local Tree Ordinances 4. Promote sustainable community forestry by training professionals to implement BMPs
  28. 28. Goal 1 – Promote Tree Canopy through Green Infrastructure Objectives 1. Develop green infrastructure policy and design criteria for model urban forest 2. Conduct 6 regional canopy studies 3. Increase capacity of local governments to increase canopy in critical areas 4. Promote the use of pervious surfaces
  29. 29. Goal 2 – Increase Advocacy for Community Forests Objectives 1. Update the urban forest communication plan highlighting benefits and values of community forests 2. Develop 5-Year Plan for annual Arbor Day celebrations 3. Reach urban legislators with “State of the Urban Forest Report” 4. Broaden reach of Georgia ReLeaf. 5. Expand Childern’s Forest Network, Tree Campus USA and other partnerships 6. Reach out to community gardens and urban farm programs.
  30. 30. Goal 3 – Promote the Development and Enforcement of Local Tree Ordinances Objectives 1. Assist 25 communities per year with tree ordinances that connect to land use planning and transportation 2. Provide self-survey tool for evaluating current ordinances 3. Increase the use of websites and educational resources by citizens, developers and local officials
  31. 31. Goal 4 – Promote sustainable community forestry by training professionals to implement BMPs Objectives 1. Partner with other agencies to offer online webinars 2. Develop capacity among Spanish language population in BMP materials 3. Provide cutting edge training for urban forest professionals 4. Build Georgia Urban Forest Council capacity by networking with one new partner group per year.
  32. 32. It’s Your Urban Forest – Learn It, Grow It, Maintain It, Enjoy It! Georgia Forestry Commission 6835 James B. Rivers/Memorial Dr. Stone Mountain, GA 30083 678-476-6227 @GaTrees @Treegirl Susan Granbery U&CF Coordinator Sustainable Community Forestry Program Blog Georgia Forestry Commission Stone Mountain, GA 678-476-6227