Draft Urban Forest Master Plan

The Urban Forest Manager (UFM) presented the first Annual UFM Report and the draft Urban Forest Master Plan at the City Council meeting, June 15, 2022. Marty Frye, the UFM, has requested comments by July 17, to be emailed to UrbanForestManager@TakomaParkMD.gov.

Both the Annual UFM Report and the multi-year master plan are requirements in the revised Tree Ordinance, passed by the Council in 2020. The Council also passed in 2020 a resolution on goals and principles to guide urban forest policies that directed City staff to prepare a multi-year master plan.

A FONTT team will submit comments on behalf of our group. Please share your reactions and ideas with the team by

  • leaving a reply to this post (scroll down to Leave Reply), or
  • sending an email to friendsofnativetreesintakoma@gmail.com

Note: To protect against trolls and bots, a Reply will only post after a Website Team member approves it,

If you would like to participate in the team that drafts the FONTT comments, please send an email to friendsofnativetreesintakoma@gmail.com.

The team will prepare the comments through exchanging emails. This method of collaboration proved both efficient and effective in preparing the native tree selection guide. In practical terms, producing the FONTT comments will probably require team members to respond to 5-10 emails per week for 2-3 weeks.

Summary of Key Links

Watch the June 15 Council meeting video. The UFM presentation begins at 1:14:50. Comments by the Mayor and Councilmembers begin at 1:57:00.

draft Urban Forest Management Plan

Annual Urban Forest Manager Report, 2022

Takoma Park Municipal Code 12.12.140 Reports to Council

Council Resolution on overarching goals and principles for urban forest policies

Photo credit: “Eastern bluebird on shagbark hickory tree” by hmclin is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

7 thoughts on “Draft Urban Forest Master Plan

  1. dianejives

    My one question/ comment is about ways the UFM could do more on outreach and education. I don’t know where Marty will find the time, but there are so many worthy efforts to plant native (trees and other plants), and we’d all benefit from the UFM and the City as a partner (and, this is an agreed upon goal of the City.) FONTT, of course, and also CCAN’s invasive species removal efforts and the Food Forest group, the folks who organize Pollinators week, the COOP, and OTBA (which hosted a native plant sale for the Takoma DC native garden). My question is, what more could be done for mutual benefit and greater reach? There is clearly a lot of interest among residents to plant more Native trees and plants.

    Liked by 2 people

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  2. Lizz

    Diane asks in her comment what more could be done in the way of outreach and education.

    To help us think about that, I list below what the draft master plan proposes in the way of A. outreach, B. engagement, and C. education.*

    After reading this list: Do you have any ideas or suggestions about what more could be done to engage, educate, and reach Takoma Park residents about planting and caring for native trees and native plant communities?

    In particular, think about No. 9. What “partnership opportunities” could FONTT suggest?

    A. Outreach
    1. Provide 150 free trees per year to selected property owners (single family, multifamily, commercial, and institutional properties).
    2. Provide free tree consultations to property owners interested in planting trees.

    B. Engagement
    3. When the City plans to plant street-side trees, property owners will be given a choice of three species from which to choose. The former policy of one species per block is no longer in force.
    4. The new digital platform has improved speed and ease of permit applications.

    C. Education
    5. The website provides information.
    6. The UFM will answer questions.
    7. Articles on urban forest topics are regularly published in the Takoma Newsletter and information disseminated through other City media.
    8. The Arbor Day event will be held.
    9. “Other events and classes are hosted occasionally as staff time allows and partnership opportunities present themselves.”

    *These three categories come from the Council’s 2020 UF Resolution, which states that one principle of urban forest management will be “expanding resident collaboration and outreach, education, and engagement.”

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. Pablo Wolfe

      Like Diane, I was most interested in the outreach/education portion of the UF Master Plan. It seems like the schools, TPES, PBES, and TPMS would be ideal places to extend forestry awareness. Could UFM host events at any of these venues during days/times when parents are present in large numbers? Could UFM go into classrooms to educate kids and send kids home with projects/information to do/read with caregivers? Our schools are big civic hubs, are there more ways to leverage that connection for the urban forestry cause? I think the local Boy/Girl Scout troops would also be good partners on this front. I believe Kopal Jha has done some work with TPMS’s “Difference Makers” club that perhaps we could support and grow. I would be interested in helping with designing/teaching/leading programming for kids — Pablo Wolfe (Willow Ave)

      Liked by 3 people

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  3. Barbara Whitney

    The Food Forest and Pollinator Groups are part of Climate Action Coffee, which is part of Takoma Park Mobilization. CAC is trying to get people to
    plant more flowering native plants and register their gardens on the Maryland Wildlife Corridor website, https://marylandcorridors.wordpress.com. You can go to the site, learn more, select “Join the network” from the menu bar and complete
    The “Residence Application Form”.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Lizzkleemeier

      Any ideas about how Climate Action Coffee and FONTT could partner with the City? Could we collaborate to add more activities to Arbor Day, say, a native tree and plant sale? a panel discussion with Doug Tallamy? native tree planting? a pop-up space on habitat? children’s activities with a native tree, plants, and pollinators theme?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. Friendsofnativetreesintakoma Post author

    Below is a summary of suggestions that one FONTTer submitted by email.

    Public space tree planting program

    1. It’s good that property owners will in the future be able to request trees for the City land between the street and the property line. In addition, it should be possible for residents to request trees for city land that is not in front of their properties. People are aware of where trees are needed in their neighborhoods.

    2. The City should require better tree installation practices from the contractors: no volcanos of mulch; no unnecessary staking.

    Education and Outreach

    3. Bring back the Arbor Day tree give-away.

    This person also wrote, “Thanks for giving me this to focus on after the !@#$% SCOTUS decision yesterday.”

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

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