From now through the end of October, the community is invited to offer its thoughts on Pleasanton's trees, using an online survey conducted by the city.
The responses and future input the city receives are set for consideration in the 25-year Urban Forest Master Plan (UFMP), a developing framework for the long-term care, preservation and expansion of the community's urban forest.
Scheduled for completion between late-2024 and mid-2025, the UFMP will be an important tool for addressing the impacts of climate change, population increases and strains to infrastructure and resources, according to Heather Tiernan, communications manager for the city of Pleasanton and Matthew Gruber, a manager of the UFMP and landscape architect for the city.
"The City of Pleasanton has long valued the importance of trees and our urban forest to the beauty, value, health and welfare of our community and neighborhoods," Tiernan wrote in a statement. "(It) is looking to reinforce our commitment to the community and our urban forest by developing our first Urban Forest Master Plan."
An urban forest comprises all of the trees throughout the city that exist on streets, parks, homes, commercial properties and other locations, according to the city's UFMP webpage.
In terms of policy, the plan is being created to implement Pleasanton's Climate Action Plan 2.0 (CAP 2.0) and update the city's tree preservation ordinance.
CAP 2.0 is Pleasanton's plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, ultimately for improving the city's resilience to the impacts of climate change and improving quality of life and public health.
By 2030, CAP 2.0 targets the city with a 70% per capita reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as compared to 1990. And by 2024, it plans for Pleasanton to become per capita, carbon neutral.
About 40% of the planned emission reductions will come from addressing transportation and buildings' energy use.
Implementing state policy on waste reduction and recovery and creating a UFMP, which aims to increase carbon stores in the landscape, account for most of the remaining reductions, according to city officials.
Another catalyst for creating the UFMP was community concerns about the tree preservation ordinance, which includes rules regarding heritage tree preservation and removal. Updates to the ordinance will be guided by the UFMP, according to city staff.
The city is working with Dudek -- an environmental, planning and engineering firm -- to develop the UFMP.
The plan will inform its management recommendations with completed research, an updated inventory of city-managed trees and an analysis of canopy cover for the entire urban forest. The research will be used to analyze carbon sequestration (the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storage as carbon), average pollutant capture, avoided emissions and more, city officials said.
In addition to the current UFMP survey, Gruber said the city will conduct more outreach over time.
Community engagement regarding the UFMP was extended at Pleasanton's farmers' market last Saturday. The City Council is set to discuss the plan this fall. Plus, in early 2024, the city plans to open another community survey regarding the UFMP.
"The more public feedback we have, the more relevant our recommendations in the master plan are going to be," Gruber said.
The approximately three-minute survey is available at ptowntrees.com. All questions are voluntary and participation is anonymous. City residence is not required.