Urban Forest

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Resources, information  and eventsPicture1

Volunteers needed for tree planting on Sat. Nov. 18! 

Tree and shade lovers, here’s your chance to make a difference! The City of Tempe is looking for volunteers to help plant over 100 trees at Svob Park on Saturday, Nov. 18. All supplies and tools will be provided and volunteers will enjoy a light breakfast before planting begins. Click here to volunteer.

When: Saturday, Nov. 18, 8:30 a.m.

Where: Svob Park, 2600 W. Vineyard Rd., Tempe

Parking: Limited street parking along perimeter of park. We strongly suggest carpooling, biking, or using transit.

Library & Community Complex Master Plan

The Library & Community Complex is an important community asset for Tempe. Home to the Tempe Public Library, Tempe History Museum, Edna Vihel Center and Pyle Adult Recreation Center, the complex is a thriving hub of activity in the heart of Tempe. The master plan, funded by the Landscape Improvement Project, will assess and make recommendations for renovating existing vegetation, hardscape and irrigation systems, water reuse improvements and creating a management plan, which will consider directional signage. The landscape budget includes funding to shade pedestrian paths, identify entries from the street and improve parking with resurfacing and restriping.

In addition, the plan will provide conceptual ideas for plaza modification, pedestrian paths, gateway points, lighting and placemaking signage that can be utilized as a baseline for future projects once additional funding is identified. 



Click here for more information. 


The City's Urban Forestry Master Plan is scheduled to go before the City Council on October 26. 

FINAL Urban Forestry Master Plan 

City Council Work Study Presentation September 18, 2017


Planting Healthy Air Report


How Urban Trees Can Save Lives: Planting Healthy Air report quantifies health benefits of trees 

What's your Tree IQ?    The Nature Conservancy  Take this quiz and find out! 


SRP tree planting workshops 

January 29, 2015 City Council Presentation

ASU Tempe Canopy Assessment

Tree Memorials

Arbor Day 5k

Trees for Tempe

Storm Water Retention Tips

American Forests

Tour des Trees: The  2017 Tour des Trees will be Saturday, April 1 from 8:30 to 11:30 on the ASU campus. Last year's event was a success thanks to  partnering organizations, volunteers, and arborists that helped teach participants about the importance of planting and caring for trees. Up to 50 Valley residents participated in the event and 35 dwarf fig trees were given away. Check out this amazing app that Deborah Thirkhill from ASU made to help participants navigate around campus and learn more about each tree. The map is still active, so you can participate even if you missed the Tour! 



What is an Urban Forest Masterplan?

Tempe has been designated a Tree City USA since 1996. In 2012-13 the Global Sustainability Solutions Services (GS3) at ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability was contracted to research and evaluate the extent of Tempe’s tree canopy in relation to a number of factors including total public canopy coverage, coverage per character area, coverage relative to irrigation service, etc. A literature review on the quantitative and qualitative benefits of trees was also conducted.

With this information, staff will craft an Urban Forest Master Plan that will:

1) establish goals for trees and shade management over the next five to 10 years including developing strategies, and identifying barriers and solutions to meet those goals;

2) research the impact of goals relative to achieving a 20 minute city as identified in the Tempe General Plan 2040, and related to increasing the urban forest asset value; and

3) determine budget estimates to implement strategies, accounting for shade, water use, VOC emissions, etc.


Project Timeline:

  • Summer and Fall 2015: Data Collection
  • Nov. 18, 2015: Parks, Recreation, Golf and Double Butte Cemetery Advisory Board
  • Dec. 2, 2015: Neighborhood Advisory Commission
  • January 12, 2016: Transportation Commission
  • February 27, 2016: Workshop & Tree Expo
  • April 12, 2016: Transportation Commission
  • April 21, 2016: Presentation to the  City Council

American Forests Gives Ten Reasons ‘Why We Plant Trees’

1. Trees Save Energy and Money. According to the U.S. Forest Service, “Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and save 20-50 percent in energy used for heating.”
2. Trees Save Tax Dollars. Trees in a city slow storm water runoff and reduce the need for storm sewers. Tree shade also helps cool municipal buildings, lowering electricity bills.
3. Trees Cool Our Cities. Urban “heat islands” are caused by declining tree canopy in our communities.
4. Trees Clean Our Water and Air. From low-level ozone in our cities to pesticide and fertilizer runoff from our farms, trees absorb harmful pollutants.
5. Trees Help Community Life. Tree planting and community-based forestry can add significantly to a local community’s sustainable economy while restoring the environment.
6. Trees Protect Soil. By holding soil in place with their root systems, by deflecting pounding rain with their canopies and by adding nutrients each fall with their leaves, trees are crucial to keeping and improving our soil.
7. Trees Provide Habitat for Species of Many Kinds, Including Endangered Species.
8. Trees Can Pay Your “Carbon Debt.” Planting just 30 trees with American Forests will absorb the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that is generated in the production of energy consumed by the average American lifestyle annually — and put oxygen back into our atmosphere.
9. Trees Provide Clean Water and Natural Flood Control. Forests act as natural reservoirs and they protect watersheds, providing clean water for cities, bays and rivers.
10. Trees are a Beautiful Part of Our Lives. Trees enrich our lives by simply being there, from the majestic sequoias to the littlest new bud.

For more information, contact Bonnie Richardson, Project Manger, 480-350-8628.