Look Beyond Your Borders

What happens inside your boundaries depends on what’s happening outside.

Urban Forestry Toolkit

Everyone has neighbors. And how nearby municipalities deal with environmental and land use issues can expand — or close off — opportunities to grow your own urban forest.

Plan at the landscape level

  • Comprehensive plan reviews offer a useful platform for engaging everyone — since multiple agencies, business groups, institutions and grass-roots groups and many other organizations have a stake in the outcome.
  • Watershed protection. Many communities band together and form watershed councils. While few have actual regulatory power, members can cooperate on initiatives that support shared goals.
  • Area-wide transportation plans.  Federal law requires that they be developed by a designated regional planning organization. By connecting with other municipalities in developing your metropolitan transportation plan, you can help assure that green infrastructure will be part of it.
Urban trees help protect watersheds.

Urban Forests Protect Water QualityUrban trees slow runoff, absorb pollution and keep waterways clean and safe.

American Planning Association: Urban forest advocates should work with planners at all levels to:

  • stipulate that developers show detailed tree-planting plans in overall site plans;
  • require strict tree preservation rules during development and construction;
  • step in to help address tree issues that surface in public hearings on proposed developments;
  • review site plans;
  • involve city arborist or urban forester to check subdivision plans and municipal projects for tree-related issues and opportunities;
  • establish tree-planting and tree-preservation requirements in subdivision regulations;
  • develop and enforce standards for tree planting and maintenance in parking lots;
  • designate open space or easements to preserve existing forest in urban areas.
Urban Forestry Toolkit