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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

City of Davis introduces interactive Urban Forest Management Plan

The new feature on the city’s website hopes to engage the community in local forestry


By ALEX UPTON  city@theaggie.org 


The city of Davis introduced a new online format to engage the community in the city’s Urban Forest Management Plan, which is available on the city of Davis’s website. City council met on March 21 to discuss a number of proposals, including the Urban Forest Management Plan. The urban forest consists of all private- and city-owned trees and woody shrubs in Davis, excluding natural areas. The Urban Forest Management Plan page on the website provides easy and interactive access to updates on how the city is designing the urban forest to best benefit the community. 

Stan Gryczko, public works, utilities and operations director for the city, has been a part of the team for the Urban Forest Management Plan for the past year. He explained how the format that Davis is using is different from usual management plans. 

“This format really allows for direct community engagement at any time with the city’s progress,” Gryczko said via email. “With this online format, the community will have an opportunity to see regular updates on progress, changes to objectives and metrics on how the Urban Forestry Program is moving forward. This is a much different method of interaction versus a usual method of having a pdf document that is not updated as frequently.” 

The main goal of the format is to increase community engagement in city decision-making processes. The plan spans over 40 years, so changes will happen slowly, allowing the community to learn about it and understand how it will impact them directly. Gryczko shared how he expects the city’s implementation of the plan to affect community engagement and how his team has worked to engage community members. 

“As part of the development process, the team actively engaged community members through online forums, in-person events and submittals via email or online via the city’s website,” Gryczko said. “I expect the community and the tree commission will remain heavily involved as the city looks to move from development to implementation of the UFMP [Urban Forest Management Plan]. In Davis we have a community that is very actively engaged with the urban forest, and we are appreciative of the ongoing efforts to support our tree canopy.” 

This plan, which was just adopted by city council in March, is still new. Because of this, Gryczko said he does not expect to see major updates immediately but envisions a continual progression of efforts. 

“Staff is focused on preparing an implementation road map for the next number of years to begin achieving the goals and objectives within the plan,” Gryszko said. “This of course will be developed with the input of the tree commission and community. Once we have a recommendation on the road map, the city council will review and adjust if necessary before we move forward with implementation.”

UC Davis has discussed their plans to adapt the campus’s tree canopy to address climate change. After the extreme wind and storms throughout Davis this past winter, the university is making an effort to prepare the campus tree canopy for the future effects of climate change.

“Certainly, having a robust urban forest has a positive impact on climate change, as demonstrated in the Urban Forest Management Plan information,” Gryczko said. “While the rain received this winter is welcome, the reality is water will continue to be a finite resource for California. Having said that, the city does prioritize watering of the urban forest and young trees in order to combat climate change.” 

Updates and the full interactive Urban Forest Management Plan can be found on the city of Davis website

Written by: Alex Upton — city@theaggie.org