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2012 Award of Merit - Urban Forestry Master Plan Update
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Project Category: Open Space

 Project Name: Urban Forestry Master Plan Update

 Project Location: Bradenton, FL, 34205

 Date of Completion: September 28, 2011

Landscape Architect:  Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.

Christopher M. Hice, RLA (www.kimley-horn.com

Owner: City of Bradenton


This plan provides an organizational framework, identifying opportunities to increase and improve the urban forest while monitoring its status and effectiveness. A team of landscape architects, planners, and arborists, combined to create an integrated approach, resulting in a project that promotes civic pride and reinforces a sense of community. Goals and objectives include:


An inventory and assessment of City’s existing tree canopy

Prior canopy analysis identified a small increase in total acreage and population from 2004-2009, but a much larger increase in canopy coverage, from 24% to 33%. This had significant impacts on carbon sequestration and stormwater, increasing the value of the urban forest. We can use this to determine how tree policy and codes should be adjusted to manage the urban forest and attain canopy coverage goals to ensure a healthy, sustainable urban forest.


Development of corridor guidelines and establishment of street tree plantings

Blocks and streets in the urban core create a basic grid of "corridor parks” that can enhance the living environment. These corridors are viewed as valuable frameworks to enhance the urban forest, strengthening community identity at a pedestrian scale while enhancing safety and promoting connectivity. Over time, a system of successful streetscapes will attract quality development and increase property values and economic vitality. Opportunities to increase and improve commercial corridors were identified and prioritized. Conceptual designs were then prepared in accordance with the newly adopted Form-Based Code, providing a vision for reforestation and neighborhood beautification.


Establishment of standards for the implementation of canopy roadways

Consideration was given to; canopy road protection zones; clear zones; preferred characteristics and adoption procedures; and special pruning and permit requirements; to designate, preserve, promote, and protect canopy roads.


Development of a preferred tree planting palette

The planting palette is meant to be modified on an annual basis giving consideration to; cold weather events and specific microclimates; current trends in relation to pests and diseases; and the diversity of the urban forest.


Development of planting establishment and maintenance guidelines

A successful and effective maintenance plan must; match the capabilities and available workload; and incorporate current standards and sound horticultural practices, including proper plant section, planting beds, and efficient irrigation.


Providing a comprehensive list of grant/funding opportunities

Several potential grant programs for various elements of the plan were identified and have been applied for in some cases.


Coordination of public workshops

The plan was closely coordinated with city staff and the Tree and Land Preservation Board. In addition, the project went through an extensive public process to educate, inform, and build consensus with the community including; a public meeting which included local nursery representatives, the Florida Forest Service and other community members and key stakeholders; planning commission review and approval; city council review and adoption; and coordination with the Florida Department of Transportation.

Credits:

Landscape Architect Sub Consultant : John Moody, RLA, ASLA  - John Moody & Associates, Inc.

Advisory Board : City of Bradenton, Tree and Land Preservation Board (TLPB)

Adoption of Document by Resolution 11-56: Bradenton City Council

Financial Contribution: City of Bradenton Woodbury Tree Fund

Financial Contribution: Colleen Mackin, Executive Director - USGBC, Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, Myakka River Branch

Financial Contribution-Production Assistance, providing 400 additional copies for public distribution:

Chris Hice - Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.

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MISSION STATEMENT Leading, educating, and participating in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments.
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