Milwaukie Tree City USA Updates

Hello Land Use Friends of Johnson Creek!My name is Parker Mullins, a land use advocate for Johnson Creek Watershed who focused on the development of urban forestry in the City of Milwaukie during my 60-hour internship.

As has been the case for around two years, JCWC is proactively seeking the development of a more comprehensive urban forestry program in Milwaukie and additionally their certification for Tree City USA status.

You may have seen the recent updates about the return of some incredibly beautiful and important species to our waters this month.  In order to ensure the continued return of these and other species, American Forests reccommends at least 40% total urban canopy coverage for optimal environmental health.  Watersheds need an ample amount of trees, particularly in urban areas, to perform vital ecosystem services.  Trees filter stormwater and help to prevent erosion in riparian zones (learn more).  Additionally, they provide habitat and cooler temperatures that are vital for the return of our native salmon species (learn more).  Acquiring Tree City USA certification will help build civic pride and acknowledgement of the importance of trees and help continue a tradition of strong urban forestry in the region.

In recent months, representing JCWC, I have continued a collaboration effort with Milwaukie.  Currently, the Park and Recreation Board for Milwaukie is investigating its options for fulfilling the requirements for this special certification relating to budgeting, tree code, heritage tree programs, and the development of an urban forestry board.  During October 28th’s Park and Recreation Board meeting, I presented materials that researched major areas of concern for the city and outlined how the Council could officially assist in the process.  In short, our continued assistance will take theses forms:

  • Education of Stakeholders: Our monthly e-bulletin and quarterly newsletter reach more than three thousand people.  We would happily use these media to highlight and garner public attention and support for the city’s efforts.
  • Volunteers:  We mobilize hundreds of volunteers every year.  We could offer support for tree planting, maintenance and monitoring efforts within the City of Milwaukie.
  • Policy Research: JCWC consistently hosts land use interns who conduct research and communicate with stakeholders as an on-going part of their work.  We would be able to help with continued policy analysis of the Tree City USA program.

If you would like the full set of materials informing the board of certification issues and outlining our support in full, follow this link and download the document.

If you find yourself in the position to meet any of the above points of assistance, we would love to hear from you.  The board members are very excited to make progress, and support from the surrounding area is very much needed.  We will continue our collaboration with Milwaukie throughout this process and will assuredly remain a partner long into the future following their certification.  Keep up to date with our calendar for any fun volunteer events or important city meetings related to urban forestry.  If you would like to learn more specifically about the efforts within the Park and Recreation Board at Milwaukie and their progress towards certification, please feel free to contact me using the information below.

Parker Mullins
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