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Vancouver Urban Forestry

The mission of Vancouver's Urban Forestry Program is to maximize the aesthetic, environmental and economic benefits that trees provide to city residents and visitors by preserving, managing and enhancing existing trees and other vegetation and promoting the reforestation of the urban area, through an active integrated program with community support and participation.

When walking around your city, note that wherever you see trees you are seeing part of the urban forest. The urban forest is comprised of the trees, shrubs and other vegetation in parks, along streets, in yards, on empty lots and in urban natural areas. These trees provide important benefits to all residents of the city. Because human activity disrupts natural forest processes, people have an important role in maintaining and enhancing the urban forest.

The Urban Forestry program exists to help residents select the appropriate trees for planting, to provide education about proper tree care and the benefits of trees, and to protect, preserve, and restore the urban forest canopy through code enforcement, planning and tree planting coordination. The City of Vancouver has been recognized as a Tree City USA for its efforts to preserve and enhance the urban forest.

Vancouver Urban Forestry and Clark County GIS recently completed a tree canopy analysis using LIDAR data and infrared photos. This study revealed that total tree canopy in Vancouver is only 19.7 percent, much less than the 40 percent canopy recommended for Pacific Northwest cities by American Forests. Which neighborhood do you live in? What is the tree canopy in your neighborhood? 

You can help improve our urban forest by volunteering or organizing a planting project, or becoming a NeighborWoods Steward.

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