Kansas City Inventories Tree Canopy in Urban Forestry Master Plan

Kansas City Inventories Tree Canopy in Urban Forestry Master Plan

Thousands of trees recorded as part of the City’s forest landscape 

Kansas City is proactively working to improve its tree canopy by creating a comprehensive inventory across four counties. 13,000 trees across the city’s landscape were recorded in the process. The Parks & Recreation Forestry Division contracted with the International Society of Arboriculture (IBA) to review existing and new trees throughout the city in Jackson, Cass, Clay and Platte counties. The department is creating a plan to help the long-term management and improvement of the city’s trees and tree canopy. 

In 2017, with the assistance of a Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Kansas City Forestry created its first Urban Forestry Master Plan (UFMP). One of the recommendations was the updating of Kansas City’s tree inventory. 

The Forestry Division is responsible for the management of a vast urban forest providing over $28.2 million in annual benefits. This forest is a valuable municipal asset which appreciates over time and produces a positive return on public funds invested in its care. Proper management of this asset is fiscally prudent, as it results in safer city streets and parks, increases the quality of life, preserves the longevity, and benefits that trees provide, and demonstrates a high degree of responsiveness to the needs of citizens. The City of Kansas City recognizes the value and services provided by its urban forest, along with the need for an integrated approach to its stewardship. 

It is exciting to see the various recommendations of the UFMP come together in a planned and coordinated effort to implement the plan. The continued implementation of the plan’s recommendations is important in building the support of citizens, city officials and all stake holders needed to achieve the plans’ goals.