In January of 2017, the City of New Albany received a $20,000 matching grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, as part of the 2016 Community and Urban Forestry Assistance grant project.
“This investment to protect our tree canopy is way overdue. I want to thank the Tree Board and the City Council for having the foresight to improve the health and future of our hardwood tree population. The health of our urban forest is vital to all living things in our ecosystem. These improvements will benefit everyone for many years to come,” stated Mayor Jeff Gahan.
The Community and Urban Forestry Assistance grant project includes funding for tree inventories, management plans and ordinance updates, purchase of trees, planting trees, and urban forestry education programming, including publications, signage, and more to encourage comprehensive urban forest management and better public understanding of urban forestry topics.
"Urban area expansion and inner-city decline is a national problem that continues to impact basic ecological functions essential to a healthy and productive society. Healthy trees and forests in urban areas contribute to improved air and water quality, watershed function, energy conservation, physical and social well-being. The quality of life in cities and towns will be enhanced by effective state programs that foster cooperative efforts to plan for, plant, protect, and maintain community trees, forests, and related natural resources." – Indiana DNR Community and Urban Forestry Assistance Grant 2016
The City of New Albany has begun a Tree Inventory that logs every tree located in the City of New Albany rights-of-way, and describes not only the location, but the species, condition, size, and other basic stats of each tree. Once this inventory is complete, a Comprehensive Management Plan will be drafted to help the city manage its tree canopy.
“In addition to providing an illustration of the overall health and condition of our city trees, this is a critical step in directing future development of our urban forest. We want to ensure that future projects take into account areas for additional plantings, development of a diverse canopy, and the long term vitality of our public trees,” stated Krisjans Streips, Chief Planner for the City of New Albany and Tree Board staff.
The City of New Albany has hired ArborPro, Inc., an urban forestry consulting company, to perform the inventory and draft the management plan. ArborPro has begun the inventory process, and estimates that the overall inventory will take about a month to complete. After the management plan has been completed, the administration plans to ask for the Tree Board and City Council's help in funding the long-term tree canopy strategy.
For more information, or for any questions regarding the project, please contact Krisjans Streips, Chief Planner for the City of New Albany at 812-948-5333.