Civilians Give Their Input on Syracuse’s Tree Canopy Restoration Process

ReLeaf Syracuse is an initiative that works on restoring tree canopy in Syracuse. (c) 2018 Fernando Garcia-Franceschini

Click the play button above to learn more about the community meetings that ReLeaf Syracuse has organized in an effort to preserve trees in the city.

Audio transcript: Syracuse Tree Canopy

By Fernando Garcia-Franceschini SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Community meetings have begun in the effort to get people’s opinions on how to restore tree canopy in Syracuse.

City arborist Stephen Harris said the goal of the partnership between the Syracuse Parks Department and the Onondaga Earth Corps is clear.

“Our goal is to get a community vision for what we want for our urban forests and come up with a plan of how to get there,” he said.

Harris commented people have shown interest in the project for tree preservation. The arborist added that combating the heat is a major motivator for residents of Syracuse to want more trees.

“That’s a critical environmental benefit, just keeping it the actual temperature it is on any given day rather than 10 to 15 degrees hotter,” Harris said.

The city arborist mentioned that some topics being discussed in the community meetings are:

  • How to deal with trees and sidewalk problems
  • Places people would like to see more trees
  • Biggest issues civilians have with trees
  • How people could help in restoring the city’s tree canopy

Harris said some of the concerns the people voiced in one of the meetings were the possibility of trees falling on power lines and clogging sewers, and tree allergies.

“They’re not a maintenance free issue,” he added.

Harris said the long term goal for ReLeaf Syracuse, the city’s new movement that looks to develop a plan to preserve Syracuse’s trees and to sustain the partnerships to make this plan a reality, is to create five and 20-years plans on how to manage urban forests.

There are still six meetings left and Harris said the expectation is to get 1000 digital surveys answered and 300 people to give input in the public events.

This urban forest in 100 Concord Place is one of many in Syracuse.