What is the cost of restoring park mowing to 15 cycles? What amount has the City spent on tree planting (both operating and capital) over the past 10-15 years? What would be the savings realized if the City maintained the tree canopy at current levels (34%)?
The cost of restoring park mowing to 15 cycles is $62,706.
- Tree planting traditionally has been funded with capital funds. From FY 2002 to FY 2017, a total of $1,790,244 was budgeted (approved by each fiscal year) for tree planting in the CIP. Approximately $1,690,000 has been spent to date and the remaining appropriated funds will be expended in 2017. Therefore, the average annual capital expenditures for tree planting has been approximately $112,000. During this period the City also spent additional capital funds for tree planting as part of the various City CI projects, such as the Fort Ward Park Plan Implementation, Miracle Field Development and Dora Kelley Park Forest Restoration Project. In FY2017, $72,000 in operating funds was also budgeted for tree planting. These funds are anticipated to be spent by the end of the current fiscal year.
- There are no savings in changing the City’s current goal for its tree canopy from 40% to 34% (current level). The current and projected operating and capital funds expenditures for the Urban Forestry Management mostly help maintain a tree canopy status-quo (no net loss of trees) in rights-of-way and city-owned lands. Reducing the City’s tree canopy goal to the current level of 34% will result in future cost avoidance – future costs related to increasing the tree canopy from 34% to 40%. Staff estimates the total cost to increase the tree canopy in the entire City by 1% over a ten-year period is $5.3 million or $530,137 per year. This will allow planting and maintenance of 638 new trees each year to achieve the 1% canopy increase goal in ten years.