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 from the master plan was to create a Tree Planting Plan. Again with the assistance of a TRIM grant in 2018, Forestry created its first master Tree Planting Plan for the entire city. What is most exciting about this new plan is it is not just a hard copy document, but the data and mapping of this plan is integrated in to Cartegraph, Forestry’s tree asset management system for immediate implementation.
Another critical recommendation of the UFMP is the updating of Kansas City’s tree inventory. This is the objective of the 2019-20 TRIM grant application. Kansas City’s Department of Parks and Recreation-Forestry Division is responsible for the management of a vast urban forest that provides over $28.2 million in annual benefits. This forest is a valuable municipal asset that 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. To this end, this Tree Inventory Update will convey analysis of existing urban forestry data and establish a roadmap for the long-term management and improvement of the city’s tree inventory and tree canopy.
This succession of planning and implementation from an Urban Forestry Master Plan to its recommendations for a Tree Planting Plan and Tree Inventory Update all work together and show how annual TRIM grants provide critical support in the advancement of municipal forestry programs. This tree inventory data will also be directly input to Cartegraph .
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 very important in building the support of citizens, city officials and all stake holders needed to achieve the plans’s goals.