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File #: 2337-2019    Version: 1
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 9/4/2019 In control: Recreation & Parks Committee
On agenda: 10/7/2019 Final action: 10/10/2019
Title: To authorize the Director of Recreation and Parks to enter into two contracts, one with Davey Resource Group ($111,125.00) and Urban Canopy Works ($93,500.00) to perform a city-wide analysis and management plan for the city’s urban forest; to authorize the City Auditor to appropriate $37,397.23 to the Recreation and Parks Bond Permanent Improvement Fund; to authorize the transfer of $204,625.00 between projects within the Recreation and Parks Bond Permanent Improvement Fund; to amend the 2019 Capital Improvements Budget Ordinance 1326-2019; to authorize the expenditure of $204,625.00 from the from the Recreation and Parks Voted Permanent Improvement Fund; and to declare an emergency. ($204,625.00)
Attachments: 1. Urban Forestry Master Plan
Explanation

This ordinance is to authorize the Director of the Recreation and Parks Department to enter into two contracts, one with Davey Resource Group ($111,125.00) and the second with Urban Canopy Works ($93,500.00) to perform a city-wide analysis and management plan for the city’s urban forest. The results of these contracts will guide the department’s tree planting program going forward, maximizing the benefit these assets provide to the residents of Columbus.

Background: Columbus Recreation and Parks has been researching a solution to proactively manage the city’s trees, known as its urban forest, for the past year and a half. The 2015 Urban Tree Canopy Assessment found that only 22% of Columbus is covered by trees, substantially less than comparable cities such as Cincinnati (38%) and Pittsburgh (42%). Our canopy is vulnerable to threats such as disease, pests, the changing climate, and increased development. Columbus needs a master plan to comprehensively assess our current conditions and recommend how to manage our trees for a healthy, long-lived urban canopy to benefit current and future residents. This master plan will engage stakeholders, both internal and external to city departments, review current operations and policies impacting trees, and recommend strategies to improve Columbus’ urban forest over the next decades. Implementation of the Columbus Urban Forestry Master Plan will impact all residents by improving the city’s trees.

Trees provide tangible benefits to Columbus residents. The 14th largest city in the nation, Columbus is home to over 880,000 people. Columbus had the 8th most intense urban heat island effect of major US cities, impacting health, energy use, and water quality. The recently published Columbus Climate Action Plan recommends planting trees as a solution. Street trees are the workhorses. They clean our air, reduce heat, and absorb stormwater. In an Ohio summer, trees provide the shade that makes walking outside bearable...

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