By Micki McNaughton
Urban Forestry Special Project Coordinator
The Urban Forestry Restoration Project is an exciting opportunity to increase the effectiveness of urban and community forests in delivering the myriad benefits and services that urban forests provide our communities. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) helps local governments maintain and manage their urban forests to maximize benefits from the resource.
The Project will help to enhance the capacity of urban forests to manage stormwater, improve water quality and store carbon by improving the health and functionality of trees and forested sites in urban settings. The work will be accomplished by Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) and Puget SoundCorps (PSC) crews based in Clark, King, and Pierce counties. Puget SoundCorps was created in 2011 to provide young people and veterans skill-building jobs while working to restore Puget Sound. The crews are funded through the state Jobs Bill, passed by the 2012 Legislature to create more than 22,000 jobs across the state.
Cities, towns and other counties in the Puget Sound Basin and southwest Washington may apply for project assistance on a first-come, first-served basis until December 31, 2012, or until the three crews’ time is fully committed, whichever comes first. DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program administers the Project and provides the WCC and PSC crews. Local projects are developed collaboratively with Puget Sound Basin and southwest Washington communities that are successful applicants for project assistance.
Activities may include:
- Control of non-native, invasive plants that out-compete native plant species or interfere with proper ecological function.
- Planting native vegetation in natural areas or open spaces to enhance ecosystem function.
- Expansion of urban canopy cover by planting trees according to existing community plans.
- Structural training of young trees on developed sites for improved tree soundness and public safety.
- Other maintenance and management actions that benefit the health of urban trees.
Local project partners must supply project-related materials and additional services required for project work:
- All permits necessary for the project work.
- Plants for revegetation or tree-planting.
- Herbicides for invasive plant control, if necessary.
- Disposal of plants and other materials removed during restoration activities.
- Other materials necessary for project completion.
All projects must be completed by the end of the State’s fiscal year, June 30, 2013.