An urban forest consists of all the trees near where people live or work. Collectively, the trees along streets, in parks, next to streams and in other open spaces within the city make up High Point's urban forest. The City's urban forestry program is a long-range strategy for maintaining and enhancing the urban forest, which in turn contributes to making the community more livable, safe and prosperous. Trees can provide a number of potential benefits, including:
- Absorbing and filtering air pollution
- Reducing energy consumption by shading homes and buildings
- Moderating the impacts of storm water by reducing flooding and preventing soil erosion
- Improving water quality by buffering ponds, streams and rivers
- Increasing property values and helping businesses attract customers and retain employees
- Providing recreational and educational opportunities and habitats for wildlife
- Enhancing the overall visual appearance of the community and establishing a community identity
To help guide the City's urban forestry program, an Urban Forestry Committee (UFC) was created by City Council in 2004. It is charged with the implementation of a comprehensive strategy for the protection, maintenance, planting and removal of trees on city-owned or controlled property. This includes the administration of standards and practices for the conservation and maintenance of the city’s trees and the development of programs to educate the community on proper tree practices, to encourage volunteer tree planting efforts and to increase public awareness and support of the community’s urban forest.
Implementation of High Point's urban forestry program includes the following:
- Hosting an annual Arbor Day ceremony
- Applying for Tree City USA designation every year, which the city received for the 12th year in a row in 2016
- Promoting a variety of tree planting activities, including:
- 150 Trees for 150 Years (PDF), in celebration of the City’s sesquicentennial
- Kao Specialties Americas, LLC Tree Planting Project - 60 trees donated by a local company were planted in the Southwest area of the Core City with the help of 17 volunteers
- Leggett & Platt Tree Planting Project - 6 trees donated by a local furniture manufacturer were planted at Harvell Park with the help of 35 volunteers
- Liberty Elm Tree Memorial - located at the Festival Park North Overlook
- Plant to Remember: Memorial Tree Program
- Core City Tree Inventory
The City of High Point received an Urban and Community Forestry Grant from the NC Division of Forest Resources in 2010-11 to conduct a tree inventory in the Core City area. With the help of almost 40 volunteers, over 4,400 trees on City owned or controlled property were identified and entered into a GIS database. In addition close to 250 potential planting spaces were identified. The certified arborist hired to lead the project produced a Tree Inventory Report and Analysis (PDF), along with an Urban Forest Management Plan (PDF), which makes recommendations about coordinating future tree activities and improving long-range planning for the urban forestry program.
For more information about the urban forestry program, please contact Andy Piper at (336) 883-3328.