City seeks public input for Philly Tree Plan 

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Sahar Coston-Hardy

The Philly Tree Plan has high hopes, and advocates want to know what you think.

The citywide project —which will provide a 10 year strategy for the equitable growth and care of Philadelphia’s urban forest — is now open for public comment. Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is encouraging local residents to speak up to ensure all voices are reflected in the city’s final plan.

Draft goals, metrics, and recommendations can  be viewed on the Community Engagement Hub, along with a survey. The public comment period is open now through Wednesday, Dec. 1.

“Our dedicated arborists do all they can to protect the trees that give residents shade, clean our air, and keep our communities healthy,” said Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell in a statement. “The Philly Tree plan is an opportunity to rethink the resources we give to tree care, and identify new ways to grow and protect our tree canopy in the neighborhoods that need it most.”

After engaging over 8,000 Philadelphians through a robust public input process that took place between April and August 2021, a draft of the Philly Tree Plan was created. Once again, public insight is sought to ensure all voices are reflected in the final plan to support those residents and institutions responsible for maintaining the city’s tree canopy. This feedback will provide critical direction for drafting the final version of the plan recommendations.

Sahar Coston-Hardy

The Philly Tree Plan has several citywide goals including: reducing the burden of trees on residents; protecting the existing and future urban forest; growing the urban forest equitably across the city; restoring health in communities and natural systems; improving communication and coordination; and supporting the ways communities are engaging with trees.

“The Philly Tree Plan has big goals to address historic inequities while growing our tree canopy,” said Erica Smith Fichman, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Community Forestry Manager. “To do this, our recommendations must be rooted in residents’ everyday experiences with trees. This public feedback period is our final opportunity to engage residents on their views and ensure the final plan reflects the experience of those at the front lines of tree care and maintenance in our city.”

The public can provide feedback via The Philly Tree Plan Community Engagement Hub. The final plan is expected to be published in early 2022.

Metro is one of more than 20 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on economic mobility. Read more at or follow on Twitter at @BrokeInPhilly.

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