The King Conservation District is celebrating another successful year of the Urban Forest Health Management Program assisting cities in our service area with enhancing green infrastructure by stewarding street trees, urban backyards, and forested open space.
In the new Urban Forestry Program, KCD will invest up to $150,000 annually for five years (2015-2019) to support regional and collaborative urban forestry initiatives that bridge stewardship across private and public lands. The program’s goal is to work with a minimum of 15 Member Jurisdictions to enhance up to 70 acres of urban tree canopy and upland/forested habitat.
In the program’s first two years, we have successfully partnered with 13 Member Jurisdictions for several unique projects including:
- Forest health analysis, stewardship planning, and an initial stewardship program of a prime open space in cooperation with several community partners.
- Community forest stewardship programs for nearly 150 acres of public open space in one jurisdiction and over 1,000 acres of public and private forest open space in another.
- Forest health analysis and management plans of 60 acres of private open space reserves.
- Engagement of adjacent landowners in stewardship of their urban forest adjacent to city forested restoration sites.
- Establishment of a city-supported program for community stewardship by neighborhoods or Homeowners Associations of their protected forested Natural Areas.
- Collaboration of multiple communities in developing model template code language citing trees/urban forest enhancement as viable stormwater mitigation entitling program funding from stormwater utility rate base.
Here are the approved 2016 projects commencing in early 2017:
- City of Redmond – Stewardship Engagement for Neighbor-Managed Natural Areas. Partnering with the City in a pilot project with 3 Homeowners Associations for neighborhood stewardship of their forested Natural Areas preserved and protected through easements or tracts.
- City of Seattle – “Backyard” Stewardship Adjacent to Forested Restoration Sites. Partnering with Green Seattle Partnership and Seattle reLeaf in a pilot to engage adjacent property owners of 2 forested restoration sites to empower them to steward their portion of the urban forest; one project site is working with the Seattle Housing Authority, while the other involves a significant outreach campaign with private residential owners who back up to the restoration site.
- City of Clyde Hill, Town of Hunts Point, Town of Yarrow Point – Tree Canopy Study and Program/Policy Evaluation (Technical Assistance). Provide canopy assessment to know the extent of current canopy cover and historical cover to compare with existing policies and goals around urban forest management and identify needed adaptations.
For more description of the selection process and the projects, including budget click HERE.
The first-round projects (listed below) are well under way and preparing for on-the-ground implementation in the coming year:
- City of Bothell – City-wide canopy assessment as well as urban forest health analysis and stewardship for North Creek Forest
- City of Shoreline – Urban forest health analysis and stewardship for private and public open space in two neighborhoods
- City of Snoqualmie – Urban forest health analysis and stewardship for city-wide public and private open space
Technical assistance to these Member Jurisdictions continues as well:
- City of Lake Forest Park – Expand their volunteer right-of-way (ROW) tree replacement program with more trees and assistance in tree selection and successful establishment practices
- City of Medina – Technical review of a guide of best management practices for ROW trees and private trees, particularly for view preservation
- King County-Cities Climate Collaboration (K4C) – Technical assistance to the Sustaining Urban Forest Working Group (Snoqualmie, Burien, Normandy Park, Sammamish) to develop model template code language citing trees/urban forest enhancement as viable stormwater mitigation measures entitling program funding from stormwater utility rate base
We look forward to announcing in the first quarter 2017 the next request for proposals and technical assistance with the new project implementation funds. Stay tuned.
URBAN FORESTRY WORKING GROUP
The King Conservation District’s Urban Forest Initiative Working Group assists with program development and implementation. Current Working Group members are:
Patrick Boyd, Councilmember, City of Medina
Cynthia Hudson, Councilmember, Town of Beaux Arts
Carol Lumb, Senior Planner, City of Tukwila
Jana Dilley, Arborist, City of Seattle
Katherine Low, Resident, City of Sammamish
James Rasmussen, Director, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition
Dick Ryon, Chair, KCD Board of Supervisors
For additional information on the KCD Urban Forest Health Management Program contact:
Elizabeth Walker, Program Coordinator
KCD Urban Forest Health Management Program