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City of Tampa Urban Forest Management Plan

The City of Tampa’s urban forest consists of the remnants of native forest found within private property, parks, medians and rights-of-way; and planted trees, palms and shrubs found on all public and private property.

"Tampa’s urban forest plays a significant role in maintaining the health and vitality of urban life. The urban forest provides a wealth of benefits to neighborhoods and residents through the reduction of energy consumption, the removal of pollutants from the air and water, reduction in stormwater flows, increased valuation of private property, increased worker productivity, reduction in stress and violent crime, as well as providing recreational opportunities and aesthetic diversity. At the same time stresses from the urban environment including air pollution, damage by vehicles, increased impervious surface, soil compaction, and maintenance neglect reduce the diversity and magnitude of these benefits and may lead to tree-related problems.

"The inherently close interaction between people and trees in Tampa requires active and diligent management of the urban and community tree and forest resources to ensure public safety. A scientifically grounded management program is necessary in order to maximize the value and minimize the risk associated with trees within this complex and dynamic human ecological system called the City of Tampa. The initial step in meeting these challenges is the identification and organization of baseline information in the form of an inventory that describes the location, composition, structure, and health of the trees and woodlands. The 2006 Urban Forest Ecological Analysis and its publication led to broad public support for the development of a management plan designed to enhance urban forest sustainability.

"The City of Tampa Urban Forest Management Plan was developed through a collaborative effort supported by Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Tampa City Council, that involved all the departments of the City of Tampa, the University of Florida, the University of South Florida, Hillsborough County Extension, business and professional organizations, neighborhood associations and citizens. This strategic plan for the management of Tampa’s urban forest addresses the numerous challenges to growing and maintaining a healthy urban forest in an efficient manner. Management of the urban forest, with its long biological life cycles and slow growth, is a long-term investment. The plan recognizes that attempts to enhance its vigor, longevity, and diversity must reflect this reality.

"Tampa’s strategic urban forest management plan was developed with a 20-year planning horizon to meets the challenge of programmatic continuity by planning on a long time framework. At the same time it provides guidance for intermediate 5-year city –wide work planning. In turn it provides direct input into short-term annual departmental operational plans and decision-making." [from Introduction]

City of Tampa, Florida
Evaluated By
E Kuehler
Robert J. Northrop
Extension Forester
University of Florida IFAS Extension, Hillsborough
(813) 744-5519 x54106 (phone)
U&CF Census Place
Tampa, Florida
Urban Forest Management
Administrative - Defined Sustainability Model, Administrative - Goals of the Plan Identified, Goals and Actions - Identifies Goals, Actions,Strategies, Community Framework - Statement of Public Awareness, Implementation Schedule - Annual Workplan Process, Tree Resources (Inventory) - Maps Provided, Tree Resources (Inventory) - Inventory Guidelines/Standards Identified, Implementation Schedule - Evaluation Mechanism, Goals and Actions - Detailed by Management Type or Unit
Indicators, Planning
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