|April 13, 2011 - A public meeting to discuss the results of a recent inventory of city-owned trees and to gather residents' input for a new comprehensive management plan for the City's urban forest resources is set for 6 p.m., Monday, April 18, at the Cansler Family YMCA.
The YMCA is located at 616 Jessamine Street.
The meeting is being hosted by the City of Knoxville's Public Service Department and the Davey Resource Group, a natural resources management firm. The city hired the company earlier this year to do an inventory of trees on city-owned property and develop a comprehensive Urban Forestry Management Plan for the city.
The city's publicly-owned canopy includes thousands of trees located on city property and right-of-ways, downtown, in medians and on traffic islands and within boulevards and parks.
"Understanding the type, condition and health of these assets is very important," according the David Brace, Deputy Director of the Public Service Department.
Skip Kincaid, a senior consulting urban forester with the Davey Resource Group will present the findings of the tree survey at Monday's meeting as well as moderate the discussion about the proposed Urban Forestry Management Plan.
"Davey is using that data to develop a plan that will help us better maintain and improve our urban canopy," said Chad Weth, planning and personnel coordinator with the public service department. "He will go over the survey results and the meeting will give him a chance to get from people - what they would like to see in the new plan, what they don't want, any potential hazards, things like that."
Kincaid will also be meeting with representatives from other city departments and contractors who work with the city to gather their views on the management plan as well to gain an understanding of the city's current services.
Davey Resources collected data related to species type, size, condition and maintenance quality, overhead conflicts and the location of vacant planting spaces.
To put together a good picture of the condition of the city's urban canopy staffers sampled 10 percent of the trees in neighborhoods including South Haven, Oakwood/Lincoln Park, Fourth and Gill, West Hills and Holston Hills among others. The neighborhoods broadly represented all geographic areas of the community.
It did a complete inventory of trees in the Central Business Improvement District (involving approximately 2,000 trees and planting sites), in several neighborhood boulevards like Cherokee, North Hills and Island Home, in state medians like Middlebrook Pike and also looked at more than 2,500 trees and planting sites in 11 Knoxville parks.
"We want to have a well-organized, proactive management plan," Weth said. "Trees have aesthetic and environmental benefits for the city, they enhance property values and we want to invest in them and manage them like the valuable assets that they are. This is plan is going to help us do that."