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Public Invited to Tree Meetings

Have a tree in your neighborhood that you love? How about one you can't stand? Pittsburgh residents interested in discussing the city's trees now have the opportunity to share their opinion at one of four meetings.

The gatherings, organized by the non-profit Tree Pittsburgh, begin tonight in Highland Park. Information gathered at the event will contribute to the group's Urban Forest Master Planning process. The plan will provide a "road map" including recommendations, resources, and information needed to manage and grow the city's tree population.

Tree Pittsburgh Executive Director Danielle Crumrine said people who attend the meetings will be educated about the status of the city's trees and then have a chance to share their input through "interactive activities."

She said they are expecting people to bring stories about trees in their neighborhood they consider to be special as well as suggestions about places that could use more trees.

Crumrine said they are also expecting some negative comments. "Whether it's conflict with infrastructure like sidewalks or power lines, sewer lines, we're bound to hear complaints as well," said Crumrine. "And that's important because those are issues that need to be addressed in the long run."

She said feedback collected during meetings will go into the Urban Forest Master Plan. "All of the information will be given to our technical consultants, who are working on the plan itself, and the idea is to have the plan published by the end of May," Crumrine said.

Tree Pittsburgh is also gathering tree stories and opinions about tree maintenance and funding through an online survey.