The City of Newport, Kentucky is a community of 15,000 people, located along the Ohio River across from downtown Cincinnati. The public trees are managed by the City’s Community Services Division, but no arborist was on staff to proactively care for the trees or interact with the community. Because a full time arborist was not an option for a city of this size, UCW was hired to serve in this role on a part-time basis.
Once brought on, UCW’s priority was to help the city build an urban forestry management program to the best standards possible with the resources available.
transitioning to a proactive care approach for public trees,
updating the tree ordinance,
coordinating community planting projects,
providing expertise in tree risk management,
reviewing development plans, and
improving ongoing communication with the citizens.
UCW worked with city leadership, staff, and the community to set a city-wide goal around tree canopy, establish management zones, use a web-based software for tree inventory and work history management, and ensure the right trees are planted in the right places and that species diversity is considered. UCW conducted a young tree pruning training for citizen volunteers, and since then almost 1,000 new street trees have been pruned. In addition to all of these services, UCW expanded and improved public outreach for the City by having one-on-one conversations with citizens, making presentations to neighborhood groups, as well as developing a section of the city’s website for updated information and answers to frequently asked questions about trees and the City urban forestry program. UCW has been Newport’s contracted City Arborist for multiple years and will continue to adapt, adjust, and innovate to manage Newport’s urban forest as effectively and efficiently.