Plan targets greener city streets

By Shelley Nelson
Superior, WI (October 13, 2009)- Superior has a new plan to maintain its urban forest. With 18 of the 26 objectives of its 1998 plan complete, the Superior Urban Forestry Committee embarked on revising the plan that made Superior a Tree City USA community. “The four broad goals we started out with remain essentially the same but they’re just a little bit more refined,” said City Forest Mary Morgan.

The primary objects include increasing the number of boulevard trees, developing and maintaining support for the urban forest through public awareness and education, monitoring and maintaining city trees to the highest standard and managing, administering and funding the urban forest program. Each of the four goals has four to 10 specific action objectives to enhance and maintain the city’s trees.
“We’re going to update our tree species list; we’re going to update our tree tribute program,” Morgan said. “We’re going to do more education in the community, and hopefully maintain our Tree City status.” The broad goals of the 1998 have guided the city and its Urban Forestry Tree Board in managing the city’s tree stock for the last decade, said Mary Kehoe, board chairwoman.
In addition to seeking a variety of funding sources and creating a program that allowed citizens to donate trees, the board developed planting standards such as creating placement maps that ensure trees do not interfere with traffic, developing a species list to ensure the best chance to grow and survive, and overhauling the city’s old tree ordinance, Kehoe said.
Under the new plan the species list will be updated. The city will develop a system to protect trees during construction, examine possibilities for medians in road projects, develop a plan for planting trees and develop public-private partnerships for tree replacement during sidewalk and road construction.
One of the things the city did differently during its annual spring planting this year was focus on a specific area of the city to create efficiencies in planting and caring for the trees. “We’re getting more bang for our buck,” Kehoe said. “All the trees seem more visible if they’re kind of in one area.”
The city is also updating its tree inventory that was completed in 1998 and developing a system for rating trees based on the health of the tree. The goal includes developing a plan to manage storm disaster and to prepare in the event the city has an infestation of Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle causing massive devastation to ash trees in southern Wisconsin and neighboring states.
The plan includes engaging and educating the public and variety of audience, making the public aware of permits required before boulevard planting, and better marketing the city’s tree tribute program. “We want to continue with our successful initiatives,” Kehoe said.
Related Resources:
Superior Telegram- Plan targets greener city streets