Fort Worth gets serious about trees with new urban forest program
Fort Worth has taken a big green step: Partnering with the Texas Trees Foundation, the city has created the first Fort Worth Urban Forest Master Plan (UFMP), to protect, expand, and manage its green infrastructure.
The UFMP will provide tools to preserve, care for, and grow the city’s forest resources more effectively. Goals include:
- identifying priority planting and preservation areas
- identifying partners who can invest in the growth of the urban forest
- creating a centralized vision for the urban forest
Forests in urban areas make cities more sustainable and resilient.
In a statement, Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker lists some of the green benchmarks the city has already achieved including being the oldest and longest-running Tree City USA in Texas since 1978, and designating a wildlife sanctuary in 1964 which later became the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge. Fort Worth's not slacking, people.
“The creation of a Fort Worth Urban Forest Master Plan is providing the next steps in implementing the protection of our natural landscape that residents will enjoy for generations to come," Parker says.
Texas Trees Foundation has been addressing urban forestry issues in North Texas for 40 years, but mostly in Dallas, says CEO Texas Trees Foundation Janette Monear, with projects such as their Cool Schools Program and NeighborWoods Program.
"We are delighted to now be doing the same in the City of Fort Worth to spotlight the importance of urban forestry and tree benefits,” Monear says.
The Texas Trees Foundation has donated $250,000 in the form of sponsorships and donations from partners that include Wells Fargo, Atmos Energy, Fort Worth-based Nicholas Martin Jr. Family Foundation, and BNSF Railway. The city is contributing $50,000 toward the project, utilizing Tree Fund Collections.
The next step: get community feedback. Fort Worth residents, business community members, and visitors are encouraged to share ideas by taking a survey at https://bit.ly/FortWorthUFMP. The survey closes at the end of February 2023.