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The Philly Tree Plan is planning to have a final draft completed by 2022. Photo: Sahar Coston / Philly Tree Plan
The Philly Tree Plan is planning to have a final draft completed by 2022. Photo: Sahar Coston / Philly Tree Plan

Philly Tree Plan: Philadelphia Parks & Rec opens final public comment period

Comments on the Philly Tree Plan will run now through Dec. 1.

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Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s Philly Tree Plan project is now officially open for public comment, marking the project’s final planning stage.

The project, Philly Tree Plan, is aiming to initiate a 10-year strategy to spark equitable growth and care within Philly’s agriculture.

Now, a public comment period for the program is open throughout the month, ending on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. 

On the project’s website, draft goals, metrics, recommendations, and a survey can be found on the project’s Community Engagement Hub.

Philly Tree Plan’s interactions — received via feedback through a public input process — allowed over 8,000 Philadelphians to have their voices heard.

The public input process took place between April and August of 2021. Afterwards, an official draft of the Philly Tree Plan was created.

Going forward, the project is seeking further input and feedback to ensure all voices are heard and reflected.

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell shared some thoughts on the project:

“Our dedicated arborists do all they can to protect the trees that give residents shade, clean our air, and keep our communities healthy.

"The Philly Tree plan is an opportunity to rethink the resources we give to tree care, and identify new ways to grow and protect our tree canopy in the neighborhoods that need it most,” she said. 

Some goals of the Philly Tree Plan broad and focused include:

  • Reducing the burden of trees on residents 
  • Protecting the existing and future urban forest 
  • Growing the urban forest equitably across the city
  • Investing in people and communities
  • Restoring health in communities and natural systems 
  • Improving communication and coordination 
  • Advocating for communities to benefit from trees and urban forestry 
  • Celebrating and supporting the ways communities are engaging with trees

Erica Smith Fichman — the community forestry manager of the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation department — emphasized the importance of this final comment period in the overall process of putting the Philly Tree Project in action.

“This public feedback period is our final opportunity to engage residents on their views and ensure the final plan reflects the experience of those at the front lines of tree care and maintenance in our city,” he said.

Philadelphians can submit their comments through Philly Tree Plan’s Engagement Hub. Once again, the public comment period ends on Wednesday, Dec.1, 2021. 

The final Philly Tree Plan draft is expected to be published in early 2022.

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