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"He who plants a tree, plants hope."  — Lucy Larcom
A LETTER FROM OUR URBAN FORESTER
Our community recognizes that the urban forest provides social, ecological, and economic benefits that enhance the quality of life for Austin’s community. Just like the parks where we play and the roads where we commute, our urban forest is a community asset. To maintain the health and integrity of our community’s urban forest, the City of Austin (City) strives to preserve and maintain trees and vegetation during land development, and to plant new trees and care for existing trees. Through community-focused programming and partnerships with mission-aligned, local organizations the City seeks to support connect the community to resources and create a lasting culture of stewardship.  

A healthy urban forest is more than a collection of healthy trees, it’s an indicator of the health of our ecosystem and in turn, supports the health of our community. This public asset is dynamic and constantly under pressure due to insect and disease infestation, invasive plants, changes in climate, drought, aging trees, and land development. Like water lines and streets, our trees require proactive planning and management so that they will continue to contribute important health and welfare benefits throughout our community.

The development of the Community Tree Report is in response to the City’s goal to increase transparency. The Report features data related to tree funding, community stewardship programs, and proactive initiatives that are enhancing the health of  Austin ’s urban forest. We invite you to explore the data we've gathered regarding the impacts to the urban forest, and report back your findings and insights through the survey on the Reflections page of the report {link}. The Community Tree Preservation Division will continue to strive in our efforts to support the collection of meaningful, accurate data and increased transparency. Look forward to annual updates to the report, improved documentation of urban forest health, and new initiatives that move us closer to our community's Urban Forest Vision.
Austin's Urban Forest Vision
Austin’s urban forest is a healthy and sustainable mix of trees, vegetation, and other components that comprise a contiguous and thriving ecosystem valued, protected, and cared for by the City and all of its citizens as an essential environmental, economic, and community asset.
Our community's Vision for our future forest is both hopeful and aspirational. I am grateful to live in a community which not only recognizes the intrinsic value of the urban forest ecosystem but passionately cultivates it.

Thank you for all that you do for our community and our community's urban forest ecosystem.

Sincerely, 
Emily King, City of Austin Urban Forester


Our Urban Forest Ecosystem

The community’s urban forest ecosystem is composed of all trees and vegetation, the soil and water that support it, and includes public and private properties.



Executive Summary

The genesis of the Community Tree Report stems from Austin's Urban Forest Plan and is guided with an eye toward equity in both the canopy and the community. While the Austin Urban Forest Plan was adopted in 2014, implementation did not truly begin until 2015 where this report picks up. The Community Tree Report reflects 3 years of non-general fund investment in the urban forest ecosystem. By gathering and sharing data, we hope to increase transparency and inspire additional planting and stewardship activities throughout the city.

The Community Tree Preservation Division (CTPD) is tasked with implementation of the Austin Urban Forest Plan and
manages three sources of funding available for tree planting and stewardship projects that have a public benefit. These include the Urban Forest Replenishment Fund (UFRF), Planting for the Future Fund (PFF), and the Austin Energy Urban Heat Fund (AEUHF). The Report documents investments by project type and location, by sector, and more from 2015 through 2017.


      The Community Tree Preservation Division is tasked with          implementation of the Austin Urban Forest Plan and manages
                    three sources of funding available for tree planting and                        stewardship projects that have a public benefit. 


The Community Tree Preservation Division, partners, and policymakers will use this report to establish a baseline for positive urban forest activity occurring in the community in order to identify areas of success and opportunities for future program development and stewardship activity.

Included in the report are the following sections:

HOMEPAGE | Welcome to the report. A letter from the City of Austin’s Urban Forester and an introduction to the first Community Tree Report.

DASHBOARD | A visual overview of the data categorized into four main sections and links to the raw data hosted on the Open Data Portal. Also included here is a snapshot of the City’s tree planting by program and property type.
MAPPING | An interactive map showing where projects and investments are occurring across Austin. By mapping projects, we can see where there are opportunities for future stewardship opportunities.  

FUNDING | A visual breakdown of funding by subcategory, and by recipient type. Additionally, funding sources and programs that help people to access the funds are explained.

PLANNING | This section is dedicated to addressing development and methodology of the Austin Urban Forest Plan’s implementation strategies and products from Urban Forest Plan adoption to date.

REFLECTIONS | A collection of challenges and opportunities, and insights into the data. There is also an invitation to the community and partners to share observations on the data and Austin's urban forest through SpeakUp! Austin.  

MEET THE TEAM | Meet the team behind the Community Tree Report.
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