Testify for Trees
It’s no surprise that our advocacy centers around protecting trees.. Our large trees have taken decades to mature and it’s our collective responsibility to make sure they continue to thrive – shading generations from the hot summer sun and filtering the air in our busy city streets. Protecting these trees is only a part of the challenge. We must also ensure that new trees are being planted and that they continue to have open green space and soil to grow. Trees connect us all through our environment and our community, that is why all of our asks come back to this theme of protecting, planting and preserving.
Plant new trees
Development and tree preservation are not mutually exclusive. When trees must be removed to make way for new buildings and roadways, we advocate for them to be replaced. However, replacing mature trees with young trees can impact the canopy over time.This is especially true when large canopy trees are replaced with smaller ornamental trees. Species diversity is important, but we must consider the immense value of planting large canopy trees in new developments that can grow to provide the necessary shade to cool our warming cities. By planting trees at a rate that provides canopy replacement, not per tree replacement, we can ensure the canopy can be restored to its former glory.
Protect existing trees
The Urban Forest Preservation Act is DC’s only tree law. It protects all trees with a circumference of 44 inches or larger. However, it only covers trees that are removed by nongovernmental companies. DC agencies do not need permission to remove trees, even those that are 90 inches in circumference. We would like to expand the law so that everyone removing a tree is treated equally.
Provide the DC Urban Forestry Division with stop work order authority
The Urban Forestry Division (UFD) is responsible for maintaining and protecting trees in the District. However, while they can issue fines for harm to Special or Heritage trees, they cannot stop the ongoing work that is harming the trees. By giving UFD Arborists stop work order authority, they will be able to proactively protect DC’s largest trees from harm.
Undeveloped land is a premium in Washington DC, but development is also important if the city is going to keep up with the demand of a growing population. We advocate for denser development, that maximizes the amount of trees and green space that can be retained. We also ask that underutilized or undevelopable green spaces be put in conservation easements to make these areas “forever green”.
Through effective communication with developers, legislatures, and other decision makers your voice will help us re-tree D.C. for future generations.
Want to help? Here are some ideas of what you can do:
- Get involved in your local government! Advisory Neighborhood Commissions are designed for you to exercise your voice and to guide everything happening around you. Find out more about ANCs and how to find yours!
- Sign up for our advocacy workshop, where we train you to advocate effectively and understand the ins and outs of D.C.’s unique political geography.
- Testify on behalf of trees! Present testimony at zoning cases where development threatens trees, at DC Performance Oversight hearings where District agencies are reviewed for their previous year’s performance and at your local ANC meetings where engagement opportunities are presented.
Big Wins in the 2020 Budget
Casey Trees Testifies at D.C.’s Performance and Oversight Hearings
Small Cells and 5G are coming to D.C. Help us make sure trees survive this.