As Fort Wayne faces its 8th year of Emerald Ash Borer devastation, the Parks and Recreation has approved a new five-year plan called Shading Our City: Urban Forest Management Plan. The plan intends to provide a framework for ensuring that the trees and forests of Fort Wayne are appropriately cared for according to community goals. The plan is broken into four elements covering all aspects of managing an urban forest.
Maintenance and Protection
The maintenance and protection element establishes the framework to provide healthy and productive conditions for trees to prosper. The goals of maintenance are to provide safe and functioning public spaces that maximize the environmental, social, and economic benefits of trees. Fort Wayne has been maintaining and protecting existing trees with TREE-äge® Insecticide. The trunk injections have proven to be successful with approximately 97 percent of treated trees flourishing.
Monitoring and Documentation
Another element of the plan is monitoring and documenting the urban tree canopy. Tracking and examining changes to the canopy and recording all observations will provide the data necessary to manage all aspects of the urban forest. Keeping up to date tree inventories will allow the municipality to track the success of the process.
Sustainability and Management Goals
The final elements of the plan establish sustainability and management goals that will keep the parks and urban landscapes thriving for years to come. The sustainability portion will provide fiscally and environmentally for the urban canopy, allowing the community to benefit for future generations. The second portion sets goals for street and park trees for the next several years. These include reduction of pruning cycle, increasing plantings, adoption of tree risk assessment program, and development of an invasive species management plan within the parks.
Planting trees and diversifying the tree species throughout the city is a major component of the effort. This will help replace some of the 17,000 trees lost since EAB was discovered in Indiana in 2004. Since then, the parks department has replaced about 10,000 trees.
The planting of new trees in proper locations will help to grow in the canopy making the community better for the future. The parks departments hopes to partner with businesses, neighborhoods, and community volunteers to purchase and plant a variety of new trees for parks and public spaces. Efforts such as The Great Tree Canopy Comeback event held on Saturday November 1st helped to directly fund re-planting city trees that are being lost faster than they are being replanted.
Would you like to assist the Fort Wayne community? Click here to donate a tax deductible gift of a tree.
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