Wilsonville street tree assessment: Damage to parks 'significant'
The Wilsonville government is outlining tree restoration plans after the recent ice storm devastated the local canopy.
For one, the city is hiring interns to document the trees throughout city streets and parks, and then will compare that data with a previous tree inventory. That project will help inform replanting and removal efforts.
"We recognize the ice storm took a toll on our urban forest in general, so we're trying to do an assessment so we can revitalize and get our forest healthy again," Public Works Director Delora Kerber said.
Miranda Bateschell, the city's planning director, said the government plans to allocate $50,000 for the removal and replanting of 200 street trees, which are the responsibility of the adjoining property owner, this fall and is working with the nonprofit organization Friends of Trees to conduct those efforts. The city would pay $250 of the $285 it costs to remove and replant each tree while the property owner would pay the other $35. Tree restoration on public property will take place later on, the planning director added.
"We're helping to try to cover the majority of the mitigation funding to get those trees replanted," Bateschell said.
As for parks, the city has removed many of the trees that had been damaged in the mid-February weather event, though it left the stumps for counting purposes.
Parks Supervisor Dustin Shull said park tree loss was "significant" but that he couldn't provide a more precise estimate at this time. Especially impacted were the Villebois area and Memorial Park, which lost 31 trees just in the section near the parking lot and baseball fields. Priority areas for replanting will be open and visible green spaces, and the city is less likely to replant all damaged trees in passive spots like the Boeckman Creek trail or areas next to the Willamette River in Memorial Park, Shull noted.
"Our initial focus will be getting the park areas replanted and then we will continue to look at and observe and see how nature bounces back on its own in natural areas," he said. "And we will help where we can and as it's needed."
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