Better Ground


How to Make Sure Trees and Forests Are Integrated

Policies and plans are the foundation on which a jurisdiction states what is vital and necessary for a healthy and vibrant community. Every initiative and mandate provides an opportunity to collaborate, coordinate, and integrate tree canopy and urban forests into guiding principles, documents, and strategies toward implementation.

Considerations about Policy & Planning

  • Adoption of policies and plans by jurisdiction’s decision makers is critical for success.

  • Include long-term visioning with short-term strategies and action steps.

  • Involve ALL stakeholders in the development of policies and plans, including impacted departments and the community.
  • Regularly update and incorporate language, principles and practices between complementary policies and plans.

Resource Links by Topic

  • Urban Forestry Management Plan (Tacoma) – A strategic plan for Tacoma’s urban forest with a Phase I research summary and Phase 2 action plan.
  • Urban Forest Strategic Plan (Snoqualmie) – A city-wide plan based on priorities and opportunities to enhance the valuable community forest. Timelines, tasks, and partnerships are identified.
  • Topic: Urban Forestry – WA cities’ programs, ordinances The Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) helps local governments across Washington State better serve their communities by providing legal and policy guidance on any topic, including a complete database of jurisdictions’ ordinances and programs.
  • Urban Forests for Healthier Cities – A guide for decision makers, planners, and stakeholders on the topics of policy, planning, regulation, and institutional arrangements around the urban forest.
  • King County 30-Year Forest Plan – A recent plan that identifies seven priorities county-wide including climate, urban forest canopy, human health, and water quality and quantity on a watershed scale. 

Photo credit: City of Boise – City of Trees