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Wednesday, April 11 • 1:30pm - 1:45pm
SYMPOSIA-15: Development of an Urban Forest Strategy for the Chicago Region Based on Critical Urban Forest, Environmental and Demographic Data

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AUTHORS: Lydia Scott*, Chicago Region Trees Initiative, The Morton Arboretum; Lindsay Darling, The Morton Arboretum; Melissa Custic, The Morton Arboretum; Leslie Brandt, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, USDA Forest Service; Christopher Mulvaney, The Morton Arboretum, Chicago Wilderness

ABSTRACT: The Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI), founded by The Morton Arboretum is a collaboration of more than 160 organizations across the seven-county Chicago region. The region is comprised of 284 municipalities, 150 park districts, and 8.4 million people. The CRTI has completed a regional master plan for preservation and protection of the urban forest across all landuses and boundaries. This strategy required input of a wide range of landowners managers and users and is based on one of the most comprehensive data sets in the country on urban forestry, the people, and conditions in the Chicago region. This data set is comprised of a tree census conducted across the seven county Chicago region looking at landuse, ground cover, and tree size, condition and species; a LiDAR analysis determining seven landcover classes, including canopy cover, public and private tree inventories; United States 2010 Census, landowner/ manager capacity survey; remnant oak ecosystems; climate vulnerability assessment; and other environmental data. This data set informed the development of the strategy defining specific needs, goals and outcomes to be achieved by 2050 designed to result in improved health of the urban forest and quality of life for the 8.4 million people in the seven county Chicago region. These goals address a range of needs including expanded species and age diversity; education and training of public and private landowners; job training; ecosystem conservation; increased tree canopy; improved awareness and management of invasive species; increased production of trees and species diversity; and collaboration of public and private landowners across all landuses. This presentation will show how data and public input has been used to inform these goals and outcomes and define a strategy leading to improved tree canopy and quality of life 2050.

Wednesday April 11, 2018 1:30pm - 1:45pm CDT
Spire Parlor