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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 residents. Just like the parks where we play and the roads where we commute, our urban forest is a community asset. In order to maintain the health and integrity of our urban forest, the City of Austin (City) strives to preserve trees and vegetation during land development, and to plant new trees and care for existing trees.

Through programs and partnerships the City seeks to connect the community to resources and support a lasting culture of stewardship. The development of the Community Tree Report is a pilot project to show where and how these connections have been made.  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 SpeakUp! Austin! (linked on the Reflections page). Our team 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 Community Tree Report is tied directly to implementing Austin's Urban Forest Plan. 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 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 is the organizational group tasked with implementation of the Austin Urban Forest Plan. The Division 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.

We hope that this report will be used to establish a baseline for positive urban forest activity occurring in the community. Additionally, we plan to use the report to identify areas of success and opportunities for future program development. Keeping with the City's goal of transparency in government, we have included links within the report to the Open Data Portal where we are amassing raw data related to projects and funding.

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 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 efforts by program and property type. 
MAPPING | An interactive map showing where projects and investments occur across Austin. By mapping projects, we can see where there are opportunities for future stewardship activity.  

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

PLANNINGThis 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, 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 TEAMMeet the team behind the Community Tree Report.

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