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Urban Tree Canopy Program

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Background

Public meeting

The City of Wilmington was one of only two NC cities selected by the North Carolina Forest Service to participate in a federal study to look at how urban trees can be used to improve the quality of our local waterways.
 
Trees not only help prevent erosion and cool the city, especially where there is a lot of asphalt, they also help slow the flow of rainwater during storms and absorb a lot of that rainwater. This helps keep the stormwater system from overflowing untreated runoff into our local waterways.

This project will help Wilmington map, evaluate, protect and increase its urban forest, including recommendations on related land use and stormwater regulations. On July 26, 2017 the city held a public input meeting to provide an overview of the grant project and get input from citizens. In November 2017, findings were presented to City Council. Findings and the final report were presented to City Council again on Feb. 4, 2019.

Follow-up Recommendations

At their Jan. 6, 2020 agenda briefing, City Council heard a presentation with recommendations about ways to improve the city's tree canopy as well as policy changes for long-term, sustainable improvements.

Canopy Coverage Comparisons of Various US Cities:

City/State

Canopy Coverage

  Lynchburg, VA

51%

  Orange County, FL

51%

  Wilmington, NC

48%

  Columbia, PA

43%

  Annapolis, MD

41%

  Roanoke, VA

35%

  Boston, MA

29%

  New York City, NY

24%

  Seattle, WA

23%

  Miliwaukee, WI

21%

  Baltimore, MD

20%

  St. Louis City, MO

18%

  Chicago, IL

17%

  Denver, CO

10%

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