"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sustainable management policies take into account the fact that trees change over time, and require different care at different points in the life cycle. Proactive forest management practices cost less in the long run, and ensure tree health and longevity.
Several innovative new programs have made urban forest management in Virginia Beach more sustainable.
The Tree Buddies program was developed by the Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation to support the need for tree planting or replacement on public property. Through donations, citizens, businesses, and organizations may purchase trees in the name of their business or organization, to commemorate special events or to honor loved ones. At the end of FY-2012, 54 trees, valued at $16,070, have been planted throughout the park system through this program.
Urban Reforestation Fund
An Urban Reforestation fund has been created to provide an opportunity for citizens and community organizations to contribute money addressing the general loss of trees in the community. Donations are used to replace trees that have been lost throughout the city due to disease, storms, or urban development.
Tree Pruning Practices
Mastering basic tree pruning practices is another new program. After mastering pruning skills, the volunteers are granted permission to work within city rights-of-way to prune young trees in their neighborhoods.
Integrated Site Design Guide
Integrated Site Design Guide that includes landscape specifications for site development. Over time, this guide will provide higher city-wide standards for sustainable tree management, and move the city toward a more comprehensive green infrastructure plan.
Hansen 8 Software
The tree management has been enhanced significantly with this software, which can track maintenance requirements, customer requests, and vacant former tree locations, as well as costs related to tree management.
The urban forest is an indicator for environmental health, economic prosperity, and community cohesion. Therefore, a sustainable Urban Forest Management Plan is crucial in order for the city to move forward proactively in enhancing the existing urban forest, and to meet the needs of an expanding population. Developing this plan will not only benefit the forest , but also improve the quality of life for generations to come.
- Implement more city-wide standards for tree care
- Publicize and seek participation in "Tree Buddies" and in "Neighborhood Pruning" programs
- Research sustainable management practices utilized in other cities