In early March we testified at a variety of Budget Performance and Oversight Hearings focusing on four main pillars: encouraging agencies to work more closely together, pushing for transparency in decision making, adding incentives to saving Special Trees with a credit program, and asking for more thoughtful, useful landscape design and additional landscape architects at District agencies and their sites.
So how did the proposed 2020 budget shake out? Generally, we’re quite pleased with the results! Here are some highlights:
D.C. Office of Planning (OP): While we’re nervous about the decrease in money for design, we’re thrilled that the proposed funding would allow them to hire a cartographer to assist with their GIS and mapping programming. As an organization that frequently uses Open Data D.C., we appreciate the additional resources.
District Office of Energy and the Environment (DOEE): We deeply appreciate the proposed increase in funding for a partnership with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) for tree planting. Likewise, we appreciate the personnel funding and resources going towards the Climate Ready DC plan and Urban Sustainability Administration (who is in charge of Sustainable DC 2.0, among many other plans we care about).
Department of General Services (DGS): A big win – they accepted our ask to fix their Parks and Recreation Center Construction Project page to make it more user-friendly.
D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR): We’re happy to see an increase in funding for small parks – not every resident has access to large parks like Langdon or Garfield Park. We were also pleased to see an increase in the Environment and the Great Outdoors Program – this shows their support for environmental education.
District Department of Transportation (DDOT): It was great to hear about a proposed $252,000 increase in the Urban Forestry Division’s operating budget as well as $70.2 million in funding over the next six years for urban forestry (trees, green infrastructure maintenance etc), $177.6 million in funding over the six years for streetscape beautification, $34.3 million in funding over the next six years for the purchase and planting over 8,000 street trees and $122.1 million in funding for the new K Street Transitway (adding trees along over three miles of roadway in one of the most development parts of town).