The plan “is a perfect next step in our efforts to protect cherished natural amenities that residents will enjoy for generations to come,” Mayor Mattie Parker said in a May 17 news release.
The plan is expected to evaluate the city’s urban forest resources as well as related policies and ordinances and come up with recommendations to measure progress, the release stated. The plan will also identify partners to help with growth of the urban forest, reassess the city’s tree canopy goal, identify planting and preservation areas, and recommend changes to the urban forestry ordinance, according to the release.
“Trees are a vital pillar of a healthy community, and we are looking forward to working alongside the city of Fort Worth and our funding partners to build an urban forest master plan that will leave a green legacy for generations to come,” CEO of Texas Trees Foundation Janette Monear said in the release.
Fort Worth City Council will consider amending a resolution at its May 24 meeting to allow money from the city’s tree fund to be spent on professional studies and planning initiatives. The city’s current policy does not allow those funds to be used on such expenses, according to a May 17 memo to council.
If that amended resolution is approved, the city is expected to designate $50,000 toward an urban forestry master plan. Another $250,000 or more will come from the Texas Trees Foundation through donations and partnerships, the release stated.
The city is also looking at a separate proposal from Texas A&M Forest Service to do an urban forest inventory and analysis, the memo stated. The analysis would play a key role in the master plan that gets drafted, according to the memo.
Fort Worth has been designated as a Tree City USA since 1978, making it the oldest and longest-running city in the state with that designation, the release stated. According to the Tree City USA website, trees in an urban environment help provide cooler temperatures, cleaner air, higher property values and healthier residents.