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Clarksville receives Tennessee Urban and Community Forestry Grant

 

top-spot-logoOn July 27th, the City of Clarksville received confirmation from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture that the City will receive an Urban & Community Forestry Grant in the amount of $9,000 to incorporate new software into the tree inventory for a more detailed analysis of tree canopy.

CITYgreen is a program that enables a City to inventory, quantify, and analyze the tree canopy and its benefits for the entire city. The City purchased the CITYgreen software last year. However, for the program to work, an extensive digitization of the forest canopy is necessary. Through this grant funding opportunity, the City of Clarksville will retain the professional services of Austin Peay State University’s GIS Center to digitize the canopy.

Delineation of forested areas in Clarksville, TN will be determined through analysis of images obtained from the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP). Forested plots of greater than 1/4 acre will be digitized from NAIP imagery using ArcGIS 9.3. These polygons will be analyzed with CITYgreen for ArcGIS to quantify and examine the effect of forests on: storm water runoff reduction, water quality, air quality, and carbon storage/sequestration. Digitization of the forested plots will be performed by the Austin Peay State University (APSU) GIS Center and subsequent analysis will be performed by the City of Clarksville, TN.

The APSU GIS Center will utilize student workers for the completion of this project. Christopher Gentry (Assistant Professor of Geography, APSU Department of Geosciences) will be responsible for the supervision of students as well as the quality assessment and quality control. The project will cost a total of $9,000. This includes the development and delivery of the final product to the City of Clarksville.

CITYgreen, together with the municipal tree inventory and management plan, will incorporate these components:

  • Develop an inter-departmental process to ensure optimum tree planting within the City of Clarksville.
  • Promote conservation of community tree resources through a comprehensive canopy analysis program for establishing criteria for future development, preservation, and allocation of resources within the city.
  • Develop and implement a public education program on the urban community forest.
  • Provide information and analysis to update the Forest Management Plan to guide long term city tree planting and maintenance activities.

According to a CITYgreen Analysis conducted by the American Forests in 2003, the total tree canopy cover in Clarksville-Montgomery County was around 23%. This 23% of canopy cover provided approximately $491 million in storm-water mitigation and removed approximately 277 million pounds of pollutants from the air annually. With continuing residential and commercial/industrial growth and development in this area, information must be updated for accuracy.

With CITYgreen capability in-house, the City of Clarksville will be able to make updates itself. The City will also be able to focus on individual tracts within the City and analyze and quantify alternative scenarios for development with CITYgreen. In short, the information provided will enable the City to better plan, better educate, and better allocate resources towards successfully implementing forest management goals and objectives.

The City Forester, Clint Patterson, applied for the grant with the support of Clarksville’s Tree Board and with help from City Grants Coordinator Ron McClurg and City GIS Coordinator Jaclyn Overholser.


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