What are Rochester's tree needs?

City looks for resident input in developing master plan for its urban forest

Silver Lake with downtown Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Rochester. (Andrew Link /

Rochester residents are being asked to participate in the development of an Urban Forest Master Plan.

The quality, health and connectivity of this urban ecosystem is a major contributor to the quality of life for residents and visitors of Rochester," said Mike NIgbur, the city's head of parks and forestry. "Trees in urban areas reduce carbon emissions to fight climate change, absorb rainwater to reduce localized flooding, reduce temperature extremes and the urban heat island effect, improve human health, provide habitat for wildlife and increase property values. We encourage the community to provide their feedback as we develop the Urban Forest Master Plan.”

Rochester's tree canopy coverage – the amount of the city shaded by trees – is 28 percent, and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is in the process of building a master plan to guide the management and growth of the urban forest for years to come.

Residents can participate in the development of the plan by sharing their values and preferences about trees in the city via a digital Polco survey .

The 6-minute survey, which can be found through the city's website at , seeks information regarding residents' opinions about trees in the city, as well as specific needs to be addressed.

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