Kokomo Parks and Recreation Department has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Division of Forestry's Community Urban Forestry Program. The funds are designated for a comprehensive tree inventory of the City’s 33 parks and interpretive signs describing the benefits of urban forestry to be installed throughout the park system.
Kokomo’s portion of the DNR grant represents over 23 percent of the funds that were allocated through the Urban Tree Recovery and Environment Enhancement project for communities throughout Indiana.
“With this grant we are developing a strategy for how we reforest our public spaces,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. “The tree inventory will enable us to plan 20 years ahead to establish an urban forest with a diverse selection of native species.”
In recent years the City of Kokomo has focused efforts to replenish its tree stock by installing thousands of trees in its parks and public right-of-ways. In 2014, Kokomo planted over 1,000 trees.
“Throughout our parks and city, the practice had been to replace dying trees with new plantings,” said Parks Superintendent, Randy Morris. “Now the goal is establishing a healthy urban forest that can sustain itself and to educate the public on the value of the urban forest”.
The resulting urban forest inventory of the City’s parks will be used as a basis for managing its urban forest, including identification of tree hazards and species diversity gaps. In addition the tree inventory data can be used by various public and private entities such as public utilities, students and conservationists. The inventory will also be used to update the Kokomo Parks and Recreation 2014-2018 Master Plan.