about the project
Tacoma's Urban Forest Management Plan
Across the city, trees along streets and alleyways, in parks, open spaces, backyards, and business districts provide many benefits and constitute an "urban forest". Tacoma's urban forest is a valuable asset that, if maintained and expanded, will continue to add to the health of our community for generations to come. We are all under One Canopy and benefit from the proper care and enhancement of the trees in Tacoma.
Caring for Tacoma's urban forest is an important part of growing a sustainable, healthy, and vibrant city and cannot be achieved without the input of community members.
In 2010, City Council adopted a new chapter in Tacoma’s Comprehensive Plan, the Urban Forestry Policy Element. From this, the Environmental Services Department along with a team of consultants worked with the community to develop an Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP) to create a shared vision and road map for the trees in Tacoma that supports the policy element and enhances the city.
Passed by City Council in Dec. 2019, the UFMP strengthens themes throughout the city such as Resource Management, Equity and Accessibility, Canopy Health & Growth, Long-Term Funding, Climate Resiliency, Enhanced Ecosystem Services & Benefits, and Community Engagement & Stewardship. The plan works in tandem with the 2015 One Tacoma Comprehensive Plan and the forthcoming update to the Climate Action Plan (formerly the Environmental Action Plan).
The COVID-19 Pandemic and ensuing economic challenges of 2020 impacted the implementation of the UFMP in a number of significant ways. Actions which had substantial financial components were delayed due to budget restrictions, shifting priority to policy updates, process improvement, and program design for exciting changes in the coming year.
For 2021, Phase 3 of the project is underway with a Trees & Construction Operations Plan, Tree Risk Reduction Plan, updates to Title 9 “Public Ways” of the Tacoma Municipal Code, and creation of new Urban Forestry programs focused on Hazardous Tree Assistance and tree protection.
A Plan for One Canopy
“Urban trees and forests are considered integral to the sustainability of cities as a whole. Yet, sustainable urban forests are not born, they are made. They do not arise at random, but result from a community-wide commitment to their creation and management.”
Clark et al.: Urban Forest Sustainability