Camp Verde lives up to ‘Tree City USA’ designation

Council hears municipal tree plan Wednesday

CAMP VERDE – Living up to its designation as “Tree City USA,” the Camp Verde Municipal Tree Plan is to be presented to town council Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m.

Economic Development Specialist Sebra Choe will discuss details of the plan, described as “a guiding document for the care, maintenance and expansion of the town’s tree resources and the enhancement of the town’s public space.”

Although applicable to town-owned property, “area residents and business owners are encouraged to use this document as a standard of best practices for the care of the community’s trees.” The plan is described as a living document to be reviewed and evaluated on a regular basis.

The 44-page planning document encompasses a strategic plan as well as a detailed management guidelines. Topics include a vision for the town’s urban forest; discussion of management roles and objectives; landscape design recommendations; guidelines for care and public outreach.

The plan also contains results of a May 2016 tree inventory along the Main Street corridor - - -the first ever in Camp Verde - - conducted by the University of Arizona in conjunction with the Tree Advisory Committee and the town’s maintenance division.

Benefits cited in encouraging urban forests include reducing energy costs, storm run-off and wind speed while at the same time increasing cooling through shade production. Specifically, Camp Verde’s urban forest is said to have “reduced energy consumption, CO2 storage, improved air quality, storm water infiltration and increased property values,” with an average monetary benefit per tree of $60, according to the Camp Verde Municipal Tree Plan.

To foster urban forests, partnerships between town departments (Economic Development, Parks and Recreation and Public Works) as well as schools and youth groups (Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Future Farmers of America and Teen Advisory Board) have been established. Funding to support ongoing maintenance is being sought from public and private sources. A volunteer worker outreach is also being conducted.

Camp Verde was first designated a “Tree City USA” in 2014. The designation requires a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program with a budget of $2 per capita and an Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation.

The Camp Verde Municipal Tree Plan is available for viewing online at www.campverde.az.gov/. The Town Council meets at 473 S. Main St., Suite 106. The council agenda is posted at Town Hall and Bashas’ outdoor bulletin board, as well as the town’s website.

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