Action 1: Certify as a Tree City USA.
Woodbury has been certified annually as a Tree City USA Community since 2008.
Action 3: Budget for and achieve urban canopy/tree planting goals.
The city has a standing line item in the budget each year for tree planting and maintenance. In 2013, the city planned for and budgeted funds to plant 500 trees.
In 2009, the City of Woodbury received a Community Conservation Assistance Grant through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Metro Greenways Program. The purpose of the grant was to conduct an Urban Tree Canopy assessment, in order to determine the current tree cover across the city. The Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) is the layer of leaves, branches, and stems of trees that cover the ground when viewed from above. The most important finding of the UTC assessment was the percent tree canopy cover for the City of Woodbury. The city currently has a canopy cover of approximately 22%. The 70% of the city that is developed to its ultimate condition has a canopy of 23%. There is a significant range in the canopy among neighborhoods. Neighborhoods, depending on age and development practices at the time of development, have a canopy cover anywhere between 10% and 50%. Based on the results of the UTC, the city set goals for increasing UTC, developed an implementation plan for achieving the goals, and has established a monitoring program to track progress.
Based on research identifying the benefits of trees in the urban landscape, Woodbury has adopted the goal of increasing the UTC in the city’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan. These benefits include improved water and air quality, reduced heating and cooling costs, and increased property values.
Action 4: Maximize tree planting along your main downtown street or throughout the city.
The city encourages tree plantings on boulevards in new residential subdivisions, and requires three trees per lot. In addition, Section 24-248 of the Zoning Ordinance requires that enough trees be planted in commercial areas such that at maturity the tree canopy will equal 25% of the site area.
Tree species are categorized as small, medium, and large tree canopy trees, and credit is given based on the anticipated size of the trees’ canopy at maturity. In addition planting plans were in place for Lake Road, Valley Creek Road, Radio Drive and Settlers Ridge Parkway. According to the plans, trees were planted at a distance of 30 feet between trees where possible.
Action 5: Adopt a tree preservation or native landscaping ordinance.
Since 2004, the city has made an effort to minimize its turf maintenance activities, increase ecological diversity and reduce invasive species. The city requires the planting or seeding of native vegetation around stormwater ponds and wetlands, uses native plantings in landscaping features and uses county work crews to remove invasive species, such as buckthorn, from open space areas. The city also is using modified turf designs that require lower maintenance and less irrigation.
The city has a policy in the 2030 Comprehensive Plan in chapter 8 page 8-15: “native plants, such as prairie plantings, will be used in parks and open space to reduce landscape maintenance requirements, to provide food and shelter for wildlife, to buffer shorelines, to control runoff and to discourage invasive and nuisance species.”
The municipal code, chapter 27, division 4, section 27-40 is titled Tree Protection Standards for Developing Properties. In order to preserve trees the city adopted this ordinance stating allowable tree removal and requiring a tree preservation plan be submitted from applicant.
Chapter 27, Division 6, Landscaping and Lawn care establishes the guidelines by which residents can plant native species in their yards. The purpose of this section of the ordinance is to protect those who wish to plant native species from complaints from neighbors who want a more consistent manicured look throughout their neighborhood.
Action 6: Build community capacity to protect existing trees/plant resilient species by certifying at least one or more local staff/volunteers.
The city has a certified tree inspector on staff.