on August 21, 2007 by Staff in Latest, Comments Off on Golden shaping up urban forest

Golden shaping up urban forest

Golden, Colo. — Aug. 21, 2007 — Citizens of Golden are helping to shape the future of the City’s urban forest through surveys currently in progress as part of the City of Golden Tree Project, a scientifically-based approach to increasing environmental benefits from trees growing within the City limits.

“The goal of the Golden Tree Project is to determine how trees can contribute to enhanced energy and water conservation and improved air quality throughout the City and other urban areas of Colorado’s Front Range,” said Golden City Forester Dave High. “Longer term, it will enable better decisions by developers, urban planners and homeowners about using trees to deliver the most benefit for the least cost.”

urveying Golden citizens’ viewpoints about trees is a vital element of the project. The survey assesses opinions on tree planting and care as a basis for recommendations that will be made to the Golden City Council on improving stewardship of the urban forest.

Citizen input is being sought through two means. Volunteers are canvassing citizens at the City’s Movies & Music in the Park events Friday evenings in August.  Event dates and times are posted at www.cityofgolden.net by clicking on the Calendar. Citizens can also complete the Tree Project Social Issues Survey online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=dmQSRvlmGUxas4ocTFtbdA_3d_3d.  All survey participants receive a free packet of wildflower seeds and have a chance to win a free 5-gallon tree donated by Hardy Boy Plants and Country Fair WestWoods Garden Center.

The Tree Project is being conducted by the Institute for Environmental Solutions (IES) through a unique partnership with the City of Golden. In addition to the surveys, the Tree Project includes a computer modeling analysis to identify specific energy savings from trees. IES is also tackling a key question: Do trees

help conserve water or do trees increase water consumption? IES team members are making measurements in Golden throughout the summer to help answer this important question.

Identifying the costs, benefits, and tradeoffs of the urban forest are crucial to optimizing the contribution trees can have on improving the environment. But environmental improvement from trees is only possible when they are properly planted and maintained. Survey findings will help identify how to remove obstacles to proper tree planting and maintenance, and ways to educate the public about how trees can reduce air pollution and energy bills, and help mitigate global warming.

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