Lexington officials are considering ways of increasing the number of trees in the urban area. Last week, council members were briefed on a tree survey as they consider a targeted effort to grow the green canopy.
Division of Environmental Policy Director Susan Plueger says a tree plan will help citizens determine preferred planting areas. “We want to be able to educate them on proper selection, installation, and maintenance of trees and we have people available to do that right now, so we want to expand those efforts through reforest the bluegrass, through Arbor Day and through other education outreach events that we are planning to hold,” said Plueger.
Plueger says the city owns only about 16 percent of the available land for tree plantings. Tree Consultant Jenny Gulick says communities across the country use various tactics to fund an increase in their tree canopies, including the option of using general revenue funds. "Trees are just so important to them, we are just using our general revenue. Some places have special assessments or special property taxes that are earmarked for trees and tree management,” said Gulick. Lexington leaders have made no decisions about funding a tree canopy initiative.