After over a year in the making, the Tulsa Urban Forest Master Plan was revealed to the public on December 1, 2016. The development of the plan included a vision set by tree experts, city officials, invested stakeholders, public feedback, and various reports assessing the health and quantity of Tulsa’s trees.
Executive Summary: The City of Tulsa's urban forest includes over 5.2 million public and private trees. These trees provide beauty and shade, as well as benefits to air quality, water quality, energy savings, wildlife, socioeconomics, and public health.
This Urban Forest Master Plan (UFMP) provides a guide for managing, enhancing, and growing the tree resource over the next 20 years along with long-range objectives for building an urban forest that is resilient, safe, and connected to the community.
The structure and organization of the UFMP is based on understanding what we have, what we want, how we achieve our goals, and evaluating how we are doing. This structure, referred to as adaptive management, provides a good conceptual framework for managing urban forest resources and is commonly used for resource planning and management (Miller, R.W., 1988).
The plan development process involved a comprehensive review and assessment of the existing urban forest, including composition, value, and environmental benefits. The process explored community values, existing regulations, and policies that impact public and private trees. There are multiple stakeholders, internal and external, who play a role in the planning, design, care, and advocacy for the community forest. These stakeholders included park managers, elected officials, agency personnel, the local utility, regional nonprofits, and neighborhood groups, who contributed to the development of this Plan.
Current projects that stem from the development of this Master Plan include developing a 5 year maintenance and planting plan for all Tulsa Public Schools, a major beautification project along the corridor from Tulsa’s airport to Downtown Tulsa, and with the identification of the pest Emerald Ash Borer being present in Oklahoma, working with a taskforce including City Councilors Phil Lakin and Anna America and Mayor elect GT Bynum to create a response plan for the City of Tulsa. Read the full Tulsa Urban Forest Master Plan here.