File #: 23-1007    Version: 1
Type: information Status: Filed
File created: 11/9/2023 In control: Land Use & Environment Committee
Agenda date: 11/16/2023 Final action: 11/16/2023
Title: Urban Forestry and Tree Canopy Briefing
Urban Forestry and Tree Canopy Briefing

Recommended Action
Committee Recommendation:
Not referred to a committee.

City Manager Recommendation:
receive a briefing on the Olympia Tree Canopy Assessment.

Whether to receive a briefing on the Olympia Tree Canopy Assessment.

Staff Contact:
Kym Foley, Environmental Habitat Planner, Public Works Water Resources, 360.570.3957
Jasen Johns, Urban Forestry Program Manager, Community Planning & Development, 360.753.8301

Kym Foley, Environmental Habitat Planner
Jasen Johns, Urban Forestry Program Manager

Background and Analysis:
A growing base of research supports the multitude of environmental, social and economic benefits of trees in urban and suburban settings. Our urban forest functions to increase resilience against the effects of climate change, reduce air, water and noise pollution, provide utility in the built environment, create a sense of place, support a diversity of locally unique wildlife, and much more. Trees also pose challenges to urban infrastructure and risk to property as well as public safety and can be costly to properly maintain.

Following guidelines developed by Federal and State Urban and Community Forestry programs, the City of Olympia recently completed a Tree Canopy Assessment to support a wide variety of land use and environmental planning purposes. This high-resolution geospatial analysis maps existing (2022) tree canopy cover as well as canopy gains and losses since 2011. The results show that as of 2022, 42% of Olympia is covered by tree canopy, representing a 6% relative loss since 2011. The assessment also maps tree canopy cover by census block group, land use type, watershed, and several other geographies.

As this dataset is refined, it will be made available to the public via an online interactive Storymap and final comprehensive report, both anticipated to be published by the end of 2023. Internally, City staff across departments are beginni...

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