Ypsilanti city council discusses possibilities to improve and protect trees and forests

Ypsilanti City Council met to discuss the city’s natural resource issues, resolutions and more on Tuesday, December 7th.

The Washtenaw County Conservation District presented a “community tree pilot project” that they would like to implement in the city. Its mission is to help residents in the conservation, management and rational use of natural resources.

In 2020, residents of Washtenaw County adopted a mileage, in which funds raised would be invested to preserve land throughout Washtenaw County. Prior to this, the Washtenaw County Conservation District supported itself, listening to the income from its sales of trees and shrubs. Now, with this constant flow of funding, they are trying to expand their programs and educate the different communities in Washtenaw County.

“This [The Community Trees Pilot Program] was inspired by a county-wide natural resource assessment survey we do every five years, ”said Summer Roberts, community forester with the Washtenaw County Conservation District. “We have found that the top three natural resource concerns for residents of Washtenaw County are land use, forests and woodlands, and water quality and temperature. “

Trees are a vital part of a community because of the many benefits they provide, according to the Washtenaw County Conservation District. They provide clean breathing oxygen, cleaner air and water, and they improve our mental and physical health.

“The student contacters will use the GSI to assess the current distribution of trees in the pilot community and also present some potential priority planting areas, and we hope to get feedback from the community to help us understand how to help us adapt this to each individual. community, ”says Roberts.“ Some examples include tree canopy, impermeable surface, forward-looking development trends, as well as priority planting scenarios that could be equity-based, they could be based on on an ecological benefit lens, or it could be the easy way. “

After the presentation, council members had the opportunity to express their comments or concerns regarding the “community tree pilot project”. Board member Steve Wilcoxen shared his take on the project and explained how important this conversation is.

“We receive a lot of complaints because a lot of neighborhoods, when they were developed, were planted with maple trees. With the recent windstorms, these trees are losing a lot of branches and taking a very small part of our community out of service, ”said Wilcoxen. “But it’s happening all over town… and we have to proactively think about how we’re going to remove them and also how we’re going to replace them. So I think that’s a very timely conversation.”

To learn more about the Community Tree Pilot Project and to complete the community-specific survey, visit washtenawcd.org.

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