March 10, 2010
At a time when many American cities are experiencing dramatic decreases in urban canopy cover, Portland's urban forest is increasing. An important part of this success is the diligence and activism of Portland's Urban Forestry Commission, an advisory group supporting the City Forester, Parks Director Zari Santner, and Commissioner Fish on tree-related issues.
This morning, the UFC presented its 2009 Annual Report to the City Council. Thanks to Brian Krieg, Chair of the UFC, and Professor Joe Porascky, UFC Commissioner, for a great presentation.
The UFC focused in 2009 on assisting the multi-bureau effort to revise, review, and update Portland's tree codes. The volunteer hours put in by UFC members on this project was extraordinary; over 1,500 hours - more than 100 per member - last year.
It was a year of successes for the UFC: the Heritage Trees committee selected 12 trees for addition to the City's collection, and the School Arboreta program (Learning Landscapes) continued to expand, partnering with dozens of students from a handful of schools to plant trees on or near their schools.
Looking ahead, the UFC encourages a shift toward long-term vision, stewardship, and commitment to our urban forest. In 2010, the UFC hopes to see the completion of the Citywide Tree Project - 'a comprehensive, consistent, and cohesive vision of the urban forest that is coupled with an organizational framework that will make it easier to make that vision a reality."