Growing Greenprint Award
Honoring a government jurisdiction in the Sacramento Greenprint region that has made noteworthy contributions toward improving their communities by building a better urban forest.
City of Rancho Cordova
The City of Rancho Cordova has taken impressive steps towards improving its tree canopy. Incorporated 13 years ago, the City relied on the County's existing ordinances for and approach to trees until recently. With support from elected officials and community members, tremendous efforts has gone into supporting more tree planting and strewardship efforts across Rancho Cordova on both public and private property despite the lingering challenge of limited space. The City of Rancho Cordova has always understood that trees are a community resource, and that growing trees on both public and private property is necessary. Over the past few years they have demonstrated that belief time and time again.
Commitment to an improved tree canopy began starting in 2015, when the City outlined a tree plan and hired a contract arborist to assist with its development. Their efforts soon evolved thanks to the City qualifying for the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree City USA Award in response to the success of their Arbor Day celebration, funding for their tree program, tree committee, and new tree ordinances. In May 2016, the City planted 100 trees in Lincoln Village as part of its first neighborhood planting event.
More recently, the City completed an inventory of its public trees and vacant planting sites to create a tree maintenance and planting plan. Their goal was to plant one tree a day or 365 trees during the fiscal year. Their approach was to focus on planting trees in five different areas of the city: neighborhoods and private property, churches, businesses, and parks. The City partnered with the Sacramento Tree Foundation to utilize its Sacramento Shade and Community Shade programs to support those efforts. Additional trees were provided through the City's budget. The trees were primarily planted by community volunteers with help from the City's tree maintenance contractor. On their journey to planting 365 trees that fiscal year, 35 trees were planted in the Cordova Meadows and Cordova Gardens neighborhoods and 75 trees were planted on church properties. 100 more trees will be planted on neighborhood, commercial, and church sites and the remainder of the trees will be planted on City property by June 30, 2017.
The City is also focusing on other tree-related efforts including reviewing their public/private tree protection and landscape ordinances to support the preservation of community shade. An Urban Forest Management Plan is being drafted to set a goal for shade canopy cover and guide the selection and growing of trees in new developments too. The City's approach to improving its tree canopy and awareness of its trees sets a terrific example for how a community can move forward in growing and protecting its urban forest following the Sacramento Tree Foundation's regional Greenprint initative.
The City of Rancho Cordova's elected officials and staff have been energized by the opportunities to grow more trees in order to help improve the tree canopy and overall quality of life in the city - and so has the Sacramento Tree Foundation! We'd like to give "tree cheers" for all of the City of Rancho Cordova's hard work thus far. We are thrilled to partner with them on this magnificent transformation.