A new resource, years in the making
By Sean Peterson
Several years ago, arborist Ken Simons and University of Minnesota Prof. Gary Johnson first set out to define what practical information Minnesota communities needed to develop a step-by-step practical “Master Plan” for street tree planning and design. After much research, compilation of available resources, discussion, planning and finally implementation, in 2008 The Road to a Thoughtful Street Tree Master Plan was a reality. Since 2008, the “Master Plan” has been widely used.
However strong the information and science or how practical the advice contained in this comprehensive document, what is likely to give this holistic approach the legs it deserves, may finally be the harsh economic climate we currently face. As state budgets fall short, and communities through the state struggle, the prospect of achieving fiscal savings whilst reassuring future generations can experience the same (or an even greater) quality of life is bound to be received as a “win-win”. So, here’s a quick reality check:
It is a reality that budgets strain. It’s also a reality that emerald ash borer alone will decimate many streetscapes as we know them, with nearly a billion vulnerable ash trees throughout Minnesota. It’s a reality that we can do better.
To help move us toward “better,” we offer a completely annotated slideshow series which walks you through sequentially, the 10 issues that most affect a community’s ability to develop a practical plan for their “public” trees in 10 thoughtful steps or “Issues.” Issues consider everything from the social and political (issue 1, “Is your Community Street Tree Receptive”) through the planting of trees to help define corridors and encourage a positive vehicular and pedestrian traffic flow (issue 3). Templates and tips on how to write and present a Master Plan that will be well received by community officials, key stakeholders and the general public (issues 8-9), as well as consideration of biological and fiscal issues to consider are sure to make this series valuable.
In addition to links to the complete slideshow series, I’ve linked to some printable brochures. The brochures give an overview of the slideshow series and and the MnDot Plant Selector on-line tool. I hope these resources will help you facilitate a greener tomorrow!
The Complete S.T.M.P. Slideshow Series (download and share):
S.T.M.P. & MnDot “Plant Selector” Brochures (PDF format):