ayor Eric Johnson, the Office of Environmental Quality & Sustainability, and the Texas Trees Foundation are pleased to announce the adoption of the first Dallas Urban Forest Master Plan.
The City Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to approve the plan.
“Dallas must strive to be a top city for families and a global leader in managing and mitigating the effects of climate change,” said Mayor Johnson, who created the first-ever standalone Dallas City Council committee devoted to environment and sustainability issues. “This plan, which recognizes the importance of trees and green space to our vibrant city, can help us achieve both and will ensure that all of our communities can thrive in healthy, sustainable environments for years to come.”
Dallas trees are a natural resource valued at over $9 billion in benefits to the ecosystem and replacement cost, according to the “State of the Dallas Urban Forest” report published by the Texas Trees Foundation in 2015.
After revisions to the City’s Article X Tree ordinance in 2018, the City needed a plan for the strategic management of the tree canopy and urban forest. The Texas Trees Foundation and the City began working to create the first plan of this type with funding provided by the Lyda Hill Philanthropies® and Oncor.
The City Council called for an urban forest master plan as part of the Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP), which passed unanimously last year.
“The Urban Forest Master Plan is critical to meeting the goals of the CECAP so we can effectively work towards implementing more green spaces,” said City Councilmember Omar Narvaéz, who chairs the Environment and Sustainability Committee. “We know how important it is to have trees for shade, for cooling, for improved air quality, flood control and public health — this plan sets a good path forward.”
In addition, the City of Dallas, under the direction of Mayor Johnson, has joined the World Economic Forum’s 1 Trillion Trees initiative. This plan will contribute to the worldwide effort.
The plan was a collaboration between the Texas Trees Foundation, Lyda Hill Philanthropies, Oncor, and multiple City departments such as Park and Recreation, Aviation, Dallas Water Utilities, Sustainable Development and Construction, Planning and Urban Design, and the Office of Environmental Quality & Sustainability.
“I am truly excited about the adoption of this plan because it brings trees to the forefront as an environmental priority at City Hall and throughout Dallas,” said President and CEO of Texas Trees Foundation Janette Monear. “A healthy and well-managed tree canopy will make Dallas greener, cleaner, cooler and healthier.”