In recent years, Washington state’s third largest city has been taking deliberate steps to assess, manage and enhance its urban forest, and the DNR Urban & Community Forestry Program has been a key partner in the process.

The Tacoma News Tribune recently published a suite of articles outlining the history, challenges, actions, and underlying science behind the City of Tacoma’s renewed efforts to improve city-wide canopy coverage.

The main article, “Tacoma’s challenge: Making City of Destiny more a City of Trees”, highlights a chronology of noteworthy projects since 2010 that built upon one another to reinvigorate the city’s emphasis on urban forestry. Many of these projects were executed in partnership with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ Urban & Community Forestry (UCF) Program.

The UCF Program has provided grant funding to the City of Tacoma and allied partners for the following projects since 2010 (funding values rounded to nearest $1,000):

$2o,000 to City of Tacoma for Tacoma Business District Tree Management (2010)

$29,000 to University of Washington for Tacoma Tree Canopy Analysis (2010)

$10,000 to City of Tacoma for Urban Forest Code revisions (2010)

$10,000* to Tacoma Housing Authority for Tree Inventory (2013)

$10,000 to City of Tacoma for Priority Tree Planting (2013)

$14,000* to City of Tacoma for Public Facility Tree Inventory (2015)

*Dollar amounts shown for these projects indicate their estimated value. No money changes hands with DNR tree inventory grant projects. Successful applicants receive an inventory of trees performed on their behalf by a DNR contractor.

The City of Tacoma has also just recently applied for a 2016 DNR Tree Inventory grant and hopes to be successful, however, these grants are yet to be awarded and there is no guarantee of funding due to the competitive nature of the grant process.

Nonetheless, the City of Tacoma and its many partners have taken extraordinary initiative to restore the city’s tree canopy and to pursue a new management structure to support current and future stewardship efforts.

So hat’s off to you, Tacoma, and keep up the excellent work.

Related articles recently published by the News-Tribune about tree canopy coverage in Tacoma can be found here:

Everybody’s canopy: When little of the city’s tree space belongs to residents

Why cities need trees: The science behind a 30 percent canopy

Canopy future: Picking the right trees to survive


The Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ Urban & Community Forestry Program provides technical, financial, and educational assistance to cities and towns, counties, tribal governments, educational institutions and 501(c)3 non-profit organizations in Washington state thanks to financial support from the USDA Forest Service.