Watertown Receives Grant to do Inventory of Trees on Public Land

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These trees along the Community Path between Whites Avenue and Waverley Avenue are some that would be counted in the Urban Tree Inventory to be conducted by the City of Watertown.

The following announcement was provided by the City of Watertown:

The City of Watertown was recently awarded a $38,500 grant with a 50/50 match by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grant Program to support the City’s Tree and Potential Planting Location Inventory project.

The grant is awarded annually to municipalities and nonprofits looking to improve and protect urban forests in an effort to help communities inventory, plant and maintain public trees.

The City of Watertown will be contracting with PlanIT Geo, Inc. to conduct an Urban Tree Inventory. This project will provide a public tree inventory on streets, parks, and public property throughout the City. Deliverables will include a digitized inventory using a GIS Database of tree locations, species, size, health and conditions assessment, as well as provide a Capital Plan for trees; including trimmings, takedowns and plantings.

With approximately 7,000 public trees within the City, weakened trees and tree limbs pose real threats to public and private property, as well as to the health and safety of our residents. Therefore, it is important that we adequately understand the health and condition of each of our street trees and plan for proactive, rather than reactive, maintenance. Additionally, with 72 miles of roads, improving the Urban Forest Canopy throughout the City is a priority in addressing Urban Heat Island Effect, carbon emissions, stormwater quality and climate change in Watertown.

At the completion of the public tree inventory, the City’s Forestry Department will have an accurate, updated baseline of current public tree information across the City which will lay the groundwork for setting goals, objectives, targets, and strategies by highlighting challenges, opportunities and areas for improvement as part of the DPW’s Capital Improvement Program.

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