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Portland Urban Forest Plan

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Kids jump and smile in front of a newly planted tree
Portland's urban forest is a vital part of our city, living green infrastructure that provides many benefits and services. This page contains information about how the City is updating the Portland Urban Forest Plan, a roadmap to how trees are planted, protected, and cared for in Portland.
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What is the Portland Urban Forest Plan?

The Portland Urban Forest Plan is the guiding document for the City’s management of trees. It sets the City’s urban forest vision, goals, and tree canopy targets. It is the City’s roadmap for protecting, preserving, restoring, and expanding the urban forest equitably.

Project Overview

Portland needs to update the Portland Urban Forest Plan to align with current community priorities, and help Portland respond to climate change and improve access to tree canopy and nature. Research shows that Portland’s tree canopy is declining, and not all Portlanders have access to the benefits and services trees provide. That’s why it’s important to update this plan now.

The Portland Urban Forest Plan will be developed with input from the public, City staff, and three advisory bodies. The three advisory bodies will be a technical advisory committee, community advisory committee, and the Urban Forestry Commission. There will be multiple ways for Portlanders and people who care about our urban forest to get involved.

This effort will build on past City efforts, including:

Project Timeline

The Portland Urban Forest Plan will be created in three phases. The project is currently in the Listen and Learn phase. The plan should be completed by spring 2025. See below for a brief description of each phase.

Phase 1: Listen and Learn (September 2023 to April 2024)

During Phase 1, we will:

  • Listen to community members and stewards of the urban forest to better understand current conditions, community visions, and community priorities
  • Analyze data and explore the distribution and condition of the urban forest, resilience to climate change, and where canopy may be growing or declining
  • Learn about strengths, challenges, and opportunities for the ways we protect, plant, and care for trees

Phase 2: Change the Future: Recommendations and Actions (April 2024 to September 2024)

During Phase 2, we will:

  • Use what we learned in Phase 1 to develop a vision and goals for the future
  • Identify tree canopy targets, recommendations, actions, and other next steps to help achieve the vision and goals
  • Create a reporting strategy
  • Connect with the community to help us refine priorities and other elements of the plan

Phase 3: Develop the Roadmap (October 2024 to March 2025)

We will review public feedback and information collected in Phases 1 and 2 to draft the Portland Urban Forest Plan. This phase will include a public review period so community members can comment on the draft plan before it is finalized.

Stay Informed

We want to keep you informed. Join our contact list for project updates. Content will include email updates about the Urban Forest Plan and notifications about events and other opportunities to get involved.

 Add your contact information to the Urban Forest Plan Contact List

The City of Portland ensures meaningful access to City programs, services, and activities to comply with Civil Rights Title VI and ADA Title II laws and reasonably provides: translation, interpretation, modifications, accommodations, alternative formats, auxiliary aids, and services. To request these services, contact 503-823-2525, or for Relay Service or TTY: 711. 

503-823-2525 (Translation and Interpretation)   |   Traducción e Interpretación    |   Biên Dịch và Thông Dịch  |  अनुवादन तथा व्याख्या    |   口笔译服务  |  Устный и письменный перевод  | Turjumaad iyo Fasiraad    |   Письмовий і усний переклад  |  Traducere și interpretariat  |  Chiaku me Awewen Kapas 

Community Engagement

The urban forest includes all the trees in Portland, so Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) wants everyone to help shape the Portland Urban Forest Plan. PP&R wants to hear from Portlanders from diverse backgrounds, including those who have been historically underserved or marginalized by City processes or have less access to Portland’s urban forest.

People of color and people earning lower incomes have less access to the urban forest compared to their White and higher income counterparts. People living in neighborhoods with low tree canopy are more likely to experience negative health impacts, have increased exposure to hotter temperatures and heat-related illnesses. PP&R recognizes this and will prioritize the voices and needs of communities that have been historically underserved, specifically Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, immigrants and refugees, LGBT2SQIA+ people, people with disabilities, youth, older adults, and people earning low incomes.

There will be engagement opportunities during each of the three project phases, ranging from small focus groups to participation in larger community events and surveys.

The best way to stay informed about the ways you can help shape the Portland Urban Forest Plan is by joining our mailing list. Add your contact information the Portland Urban Forest Plan contact list. 

Upcoming Opportunities to Get Involved

Our first phase of community engagement has ended.  Thank you to everyone who participated in our survey, open house, or focus groups. 

Are you age 60 or older? 

Join us at one of three discussions for older adults. At each discussion you can learn about the Portland Urban Forest Plan and share your vision, values, and priorities for trees and tree care in Portland. 

  1. Monday, July 15, 2024 at Southwest Community Center (6820 SW 45th Ave) from 7 to 8pm. Register today
  2. Tuesday, August 13, 2024 at Charles Jordan Community Center (9009 N Foss) from 6 to 7pm. Registration opens June 13.
  3. Thursday, September 12, 2024 at Matt Dishman Community Center (77 NE Knott St) from 5 to 6pm. Registration opens July 25, 2024

Space is limited. Reserve your spot as soon as possible. 

Stay tuned for more ways to get involved in Fall 2024. 

Community Advisory Committee

The Portland Urban Forest Plan Community Advisory Committee (CAC) recruitment is complete.

From an applicant pool of 60 candidates, we have a final CAC roster of 21 individuals. We are very excited to work with this great group.

CAC tasks and activities will include:  

  • Help create the vision and goals for the Portland Urban Forest Plan. 
  • Elevate and confirm community challenges with preserving, planting, and caring for trees.
  • Serve as a community liaison between PP&R and the greater Portland community.
  • Provide feedback and input on the recommendations and priorities included in the Portland Urban Forest Plan. 

CAC Meeting 1: Thursday, January 11, 2024

CAC Meeting 2: Wednesday, March 6, 2024 

CAC Meeting 3: Tuesday, April 30, 2024 

CAC Meeting 4: Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Portland Urban Forest Plan Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Portland Urban Forest Plan?

The Portland Urban Forest Plan guides the City’s management of the urban forest. It is a comprehensive framework of goals, policies, and actions to guide City decision making and management activities. It is Portland’s roadmap for protecting, preserving, restoring, and expanding the urban forest equitably. It sets Portland’s urban forest vision, goals, and canopy targets.

What is the urban forest?

The urban forest includes all trees in Portland. Street trees, trees in parks, and trees growing in your yard are all part of the urban forest.

How long will it take to create the Urban Forest Plan?

The Portland Urban Forest Plan will take roughly 18 months to complete. The project started in September 2023 and should be completed in early 2025.

How can I provide feedback on the Urban Forest Plan?

There are many points within this project when your feedback will help influence the Portland Urban Forest Plan. Sign up for project updatesto get timely information about project events and opportunities to provide feedback. In the meantime, if you have other questions, please contact Urban Forest Plan Project Manager, Belinda Judelman, at 971-201-5416 or Belinda.Judelman@portlandoregon.gov.

Is this the City’s first Urban Forest Plan?

No. The first Urban Forest Management Plan was completed in 1995. The current plan is from 2004. In 2015, Title 11, the City’s Tree Code was adopted. Title 11 requires that the City Forester review and update the Urban Forest Plan every 10 years.

How does the Portland Urban Forest Plan relate to other City plans and policies?

Title 11, the Tree Code is one of several tools for implementing the Urban Forest Plan. Like the Urban Forest Plan, Title 11 is also due for review and it will be updated after the Urban Forest Plan is updated. The Urban Forest Plan can help support City goals and policies, like those related to climate change, sustainability, livability, and equity.  

Which trees are managed by the Portland Urban Forest Plan?

The Portland Urban Forest Plan sets management priorities for all trees in Portland. This includes trees on private property and City-owned properties like parks and planting strips.

What will be included in the Portland Urban Forest Plan?

The information in the Portland Urban Forest Plan will help explain what our urban forest looks like, how it’s doing, who has access to it, and how we should manage it over the next 10 years. The plan will include an assessment of the current state of the urban forest, a vision and goals for future management, recommendations for achieving and monitoring those goals, and an actionable plan for implementing those goals.