Current Project:

Urban Heat Island Study Presentation by Dr. Vivek Shandas from October 2017.

In addition to regular pruning, tree care, and emergency response, the Urban Forestry work group is involved in many other projects aimed at improving the urban forest. Through partnerships, planning, and outreach, the group is furthering the sustainability of the urban forest. These projects help mitigate risks and maximize the benefits of the urban forest, with the goal of equitable distribution of ecosystem services.

2021 FOR 2021 Project

2021 logoOver the course of the past 15-20 years, Eugene has experienced a continued decline in canopy cover, and more recently, winter storms have significantly impacted the viability of our forest. In order to mitigate this disturbing trend, and meet best management practices and Climate and Energy Action Plan goals, our Urban Forestry team is embarking on a city-wide tree planting effort.

Summary and Intent
The objective is to plant 2021 trees, mostly giant sequoias, in Eugene with a view to the Track and Field World Championship we will host in 2021. Beyond that, this is an opportunity for us to leave a great legacy to Eugene. It will make the city look nicer and more welcoming to the 35,000 expected visitors, will help offset the environmental impacts and carbon footprint of the sporting events, and will provide shade to prevent heat islands.

This project illustrates our commitment to make Eugene a green and smart city and show to the world who we are and who we want to be.

We would like to involve not just our Urban Forestry team but also non-governmental organizations, associations, students, schools, and the entire community united working together on the same project.

We also would like to create a partnership with the City of Springfield, promoting at the same time the Willamette to Willamette project. 

The success of this project relies on partnerships.

Leads: Scott Altenhoff and Chris Girard

  • Developed and natural parks
  • Natural areas and waterways
  • Private areas: Schools, businesses, property owners
  • Sites without adjacent property owners, supporting distribution in low tree canopy coverage regions
  • Rights-of-way with adjacent property owners who would like a new tree and support the community model
  • Various right-of-way and principal streets with more than 20 feet of planting space available.

Tree Inventory

The City of Eugene has been compiling a comprehensive street tree inventory. Through a combination of grants, volunteers, and dedicated staff they have inventoried thousands of trees, collecting data on size, location, species, and condition. This is an ongoing project that requires continued community support and allows the urban forestry work group to make more informed management decisions. This information is useful for everything from tree species selection to predicting the completion of storm cleanup and emergency response.

Society of Municipal Arborist Accreditation

The City of Eugene hosted an intern from the Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA) in the summers of 2016 and 2017. This is a mutually beneficial partnership that provides the city with additional staff and helps to educate future municipal arborists.

One of the main projects this summer has been to seek municipal accreditation from SMA. This accreditation builds upon the Tree City USA designation and would recognize the high level of work of the City’s urban forestry program. Only a handful of cities have received this accreditation, which attests to the high standards of the program. Furthermore, this has helped the urban forestry work group maintain a strong commitment to sustainable municipal arboriculture and continue to set new goals.

Urban Forest Management Plan (Revision)

When the Urban Forest Management Plan was first created in 1992 it was one of the most comprehensive and advanced documents of its time. This document is now being revised to reflect new research and changes in policy. This plan will seek to provide a more comprehensive management plan that looks at the urban forest as a whole, instead of a more compartmentalized management strategy.

As the City of Eugene continues to lose canopy cover it is imperative that we take steps to protect trees in public, private, and natural areas. In order to preserve ecosystem services and provide equitable benefits to all citizens of Eugene we need to increase the canopy cover. An increase in canopy cover will help to increase ecosystem services and make Eugene a more livable city.