Start with a few small projects

Use them to build momentum and make the case.

Urban Forestry Toolkit

A small investment now can lay the foundation for bigger projects later.

It takes time to create a solid urban forestry master plan, based on reliable urban tree canopy and assessments. In the meantime, it may be easier to approach colleagues and stakeholders about one element of a larger project, or a single, smaller project — especially if policymakers and elected leaders are unfamiliar with the benefits of green infrastructure and urban forestry.

Greening DC StreetsDC, like many other communities, began their Green Streets program with pilot projects, then expanded it.

Some examples

initial projects should cross-departmental lines and engage multiple stakeholder groups.

School constructionWhen planning a new or remodeled school building, plan for state-of-the-art green infrastructure and tree cover. Lower stormwater management costs, improve student performance.
ParksLook for low-cost opportunities to add trees during maintenance or renewal.  Planting the right trees around dog parks, for example, can absorb and treat polluted run-off.
New subdivisionForward-looking developers want green infrastructure and trees as a lower-cost solution to stormwater management.
And they know protecting and planting trees adds value to their project.
Green StreetsWhen planning a street and sidewalk renovation, especially in business districts, consider adding tree-based stormwater solutions. Stores will get increased sales; the municipality will get increased tax revenue.
Be aware of what’s happening. Better yet, what’s going to happen.

Most plans, permits and policy reviews are scheduled in advance. Try to be at the table to advocate for green infrastructure and urban forestry. It may help align departmental goals and responsibilities — always a challenge — and cement urban forestry as a key component of everyone’s mission.

Three small projects that can demonstrate success, and spur others to follow.


Related Resources
Urban Forestry Toolkit