Colorado Springs has completed its first ever Tree Canopy Assessment.
The city used aerial imagery to map its trees and found that the canopy covers roughly 17 percent of Colorado Springs. The study also identified parts of the city that could benefit from more trees, including parks, medians, and the area surrounding a planned sports complex and the under-construction Olympic Museum near downtown Colorado Springs.
Kurt Schroeder is with the Colorado Springs parks department. He said trees are a vital resource to the community, and the assessment will help the city take better care of them.
“This study talks a little bit more in depth as far as what we actually have as a forest -- what types of trees and the quantity and quality of those trees,” he explained. “That gives us some building blocks so we can establish a better management program.”
Schroeder said the urban canopy provides a wide range of benefits to the city, including “everything from carbon sequestration to stormwater management.”
The city also approved an additional $400,000 this year for the forestry department to hire more people and purchase new equipment. Schroeder said this will help the department to be more proactive in its efforts to protect and enhance the urban forest.