The NMR Watershed Forest Master Plan: Furthering Our Impact
Nine Mile Run Watershed Association (NMRWA) focuses on the ecological restoration and protection of a 6.5 square-mile watershed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While most watershed residents might think only of Frick Park when they hear the term “urban forest”, an urban forest actually encompasses all wooded vegetation in and around the city. The trees of urban forests are a vital part of a healthy ecosystem as they purify and cool the air, collect and clean stormwater, and add beauty to the city environment.
However, our watershed’s urban forests have suffered from continued exposure to harsh pollutants, diseases, invasive insects, drought, and poor management. To help take care of our watershed trees, NMRWA implemented the Urban Forestry program in 2004 to plant and care for trees and educate the public about their benefits.
NMRWA has implemented projects to benefit watershed trees since 2003 and, after 14 years, we identified the need for a more comprehensive approach to effectively manage the trees in our area. To further the impact on our urban forest, we spent 2017 creating a Watershed Forest Master Plan.
What is a Watershed Forest Master Plan?
A Watershed Forest Master Plan is a comprehensive guide that assesses the current conditions of an urban forest and identifies goal-oriented strategies. With the help of Tree Pittsburgh, our Master Plan focuses on growing, managing, and protecting our watershed urban forest. There are many different organizations that share our goal, and our Plan is a collective vision for our urban forest. We reached out to municipalities and stakeholders to ensure that we coordinate, collaborate, and cultivate ideas which will produce the best results for our urban forest.
With this Plan, we have or plan to:
– Gathered data to establish a baseline for the current condition of our watershed’s trees
– Identified best practices to create and cultivate a healthy urban forest
– Determined and monitored relationships between environmental issues, like air quality, urban hot spots, and canopy cover
– Set goals to reduce stormwater levels by strategically planting trees in highly affected areas
– Monitor our progress on the plan and adapt our ongoing strategy accordingly
How You Can Help Grow Our Plan
– Volunteer with our team to create and steward greenspace
– Become a Watershed Tree Tender to help plant & tend to trees in our watershed
– Join a borough Shade Tree Committee to influence your urban forest at a policy level
– Request trees for your neighborhood through our TreeVitalize program
We will continue planting trees, educating community members, and improving local conditions. We know each tree is an opportunity to speak with passionate residents and volunteers about the benefits of greenspace. With our new Plan, we aim to engage and inspire further with your involvement and feedback.
Questions about the Master Plan?
The Watershed Forest Master Plan was completed in 2018 and is currently benefiting from graphic design work. If you would like more information about the Master Plan, or have questions about how you can get involved in implementing the plan, contact our Urban Forestry Coordinator Jan Raether, at (412) 371-8779 ext. 116 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can read the Executive Summary of our Watershed Forest Master Plan here! Check back in for more details about the full report.