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Irvine is Creating a 30-Year “Urban Forest” Master Plan

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Irvine is developing a 30-year master plan for its “urban forest.”
 
The urban forest is made up of all of the trees in the City — including those on private property (both residential and commercial), on public property (streets, medians, parks and other open space areas), and landscaping areas around city facilities like City Hall and community centers.
 
Some years ago, Vice Mayor Larry Agran and other environmental activists got the City to set a goal to plant 500,000 trees. “I’m proud to say we reached that goal, adding beauty and value to our entire community,” Agran said.
 
Now, he wants Irvine to set a new goal due to the growth of the City and the urgency of climate change. “We need another 200,000 trees, minimum, to help clean the air, sequester carbon, cool the City, and help us reach our Climate Action Plan goals,” Agran said.
 
Ideas for achieving this new goal in just five years include:

  • Repopulating the City’s 10,000-plus acres of open space with native oak trees.
     
  • Converting some blacktop or lawns at our schools with small forested areas.
     
  • Adding even more trees to our parks to provide shade.
     
  • Establishing a program for homeowners’ associations to request trees for pocket parks and other areas under their control. The City would provide the trees and cover the cost of planting them and the HOAs would maintain them.
     
  • Planting trees in medians and alongside major roadways, creating beautiful streetscapes.
     
  • Planting 50,000 trees at the Great Park — including as many as 10,000 within the Veterans Memorial Park & Gardens, now under construction.

“I’m fond of the proverb telling us the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, and the second-best time is now,” Agran concluded.
 
As part of its effort to develop the master plan for trees, the City is asking residents to complete a quick survey to help inform its decisions going forward. You can take the survey here. All questions are voluntary and survey respondents are anonymous.

Roger Bloom

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