Fort Worth to Create Urban Forestry Master Plan – Welcome to the City of Fort Worth

Posted May 17, 2022

The Fort Worth City Council today announced plans to move forward in partnering with the Texas Trees Foundation to create Fort Worth’s first urban forestry master plan, marking the city’s continued momentum in the protection, expansion and management of its green infrastructure.

Forests in urban areas generate significant value over time and provide essential physical, social, economic and environmental benefits that make cities more sustainable and resilient.

“Fort Worth has long demonstrated an unwavering commitment to keeping our infrastructure green; to be the oldest and oldest tree town in the United States in Texas, a designation the town first received in 1978; to the designation of a wildlife sanctuary in 1964 which later became the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge; voter approval of a $15 million open space conservation bond proposal this month,” said Mayor Mattie Parker. “Taking the initiative to create a Fort Worth Urban Forestry Master Plan is a perfect next step in our efforts to protect valuable natural amenities that residents will enjoy for generations to come.”

The city’s Department of Developmental Services and the Texas Trees Foundation will lead planning efforts to engage community stakeholders, developers and forestry experts. The comprehensive report will assess current urban forest resources and the city’s urban forest policies and ordinances, recommend appropriate strategies to maintain and improve the urban forest, and provide methods for measuring progress while addressing the many elements of urban forestry in Fort Worth now and in the future.

Several elements of the plan will include identifying strategic partners interested in investing in urban forest growth, identifying priority planting and conservation areas, reassessing the current city ​​and recommending amendments to the Urban Forestry Ordinance.

“Our Foundation’s vision is to create a cleaner, greener, fresher and healthier Texas. For 40 years, we’ve focused our mission on impacting the City of Dallas, and we’re excited to now expand to the City of Fort Worth to highlight the importance of urban forestry and the benefits of trees,” said Janette Monear, CEO of Texas Trees. Foundation. “Trees are a vital pillar of a healthy community and we look forward to working alongside the City of Fort Worth and our funding partners to develop an urban forest master plan that will leave a green legacy for generations to come.” »

The increase in planning initiatives surrounding urban forestry in the city has been championed by Mayor Pro Tem Gyna Bivens due to the recent illegal clear-cutting of trees in the Cross Timbers area, located east of the I-35W. The region consists of a large area with old, drought-stressed, slow-growing trees, many of which predate not only statehood, but also the birth of the United States.

“The East Side of Fort Worth has seen devastating instances of tree loss, and it is absolutely incumbent on us as a city council to ensure responsible development and seek out every opportunity to enhance the preservation of the urban forest” , Bivens said. “I am pleased to lend my full support to the creation of a Fort Worth Urban Forestry Master Plan to ensure we achieve these goals now and in the future.”

Along with the city’s $50,000 contribution using tree fund collections, the Texas Trees Foundation will contribute a minimum of $250,000 to the project, which will come from a combination of partnerships and donations from organizations like Wells. Fargo, Atmos Energy, Texas Trees Foundation and the Worth-based Fort Nicholas Martin Jr. Family Foundation.

“Wells Fargo is committed to providing leadership among financial institutions on sustainability issues and believes that climate change is one of the most pressing environmental and social issues of our time,” said Scott Wallace, Chief Financial Officer. Wells Fargo Regional Banking Services for North Texas. “We are honored to support the Texas Trees Foundation and its important work as part of our commitment to help transition to a low-carbon economy and minimize society’s environmental footprint.”

“Our partnership with the Texas Trees Foundation and the City of Fort Worth aligns with Atmos Energy’s commitment to fueling safe and thriving communities by investing in a safe and healthy environment for all,” said Chris Felan, vice – President of Rates and Regulatory Affairs of Atmos Energy. . “We are committed to helping the City of Fort Worth prosper and creating a strategic roadmap for sustainable and safe forest management and we are honored to help sponsor the development of this historic urban forest plan.

The collaborative work between the Texas Trees Foundation, the City of Fort Worth, Atmos Energy, Wells Fargo and the Nicholas Martin Jr. Family Foundation is just one more example of the city’s commitment to breaking down barriers through innovative thinking and partnerships.

“Just as a land use plan guides urban planning and future development, we hope that a research-driven urban forest master plan will help facilitate a more efficient, effective and efficient decision-making process. consistent for the entire community, including city officials, nonprofits, developers and landlords,” said Nicholas Martin Jr. Family Foundation representative Nick K. Martin.

The Texas Trees Foundation has served as a catalyst in creating reimagined green spaces through research-driven projects and programs such as their Cool Schools program and the NeighborWoods program.

Photo: Planning efforts will assess current urban forest resources as well as municipal policies and ordinances related to the urban forest.

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