(Lawrence, Kan.) – A census is underway. However, with this census, those surveyed will not be moving anytime soon.
Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department is currently performing a tree inventory, which will log trees in city parks and along the city’s right-of-way into a geographic information system database.
The Horticulture and Forestry Division is using software called TreeWorks to assist with the inventory with the goal of building a coordinated, comprehensive city tree management system.
The software features a mobile component for Parks and Recreation staff to conduct a detailed inventory, recording condition and species of trees, size, such as diameter, height and spread of tree, and other related information. Information is then transferred to the GIS database, which will assist in the care and maintenance of all the city’s trees.
Once the database is complete, it will be beneficial to coordinate city resources and prioritize work, such as storm emergency work, identifying high risk trees and regular programmed pruning and inspections. It will also assist staff in creating reports for federal assistance should Lawrence encounter severe damage from a storm and areas were declared a natural disaster.
“The horticulture and forestry staff are excited to begin a GIS map-based tree inventory,” Crystal Miles, horticulture and forestry manager, said. “We are currently training several city arborists to use the data collection equipment.
“Our main goal is to utilize the system toward increasing public safety in regards to caring for aging city trees, as well as promote good tree health for all trees in our parks and along the streets. This is a long range program that will take several years to complete.”
A geographic information system combines information with a mapping unit. It is a system designed to capture, store, manage, analyze and display data in many geographic forms. The information may be referenced in the form of maps, globes, reports and charts.
If anyone has knowledge of tree identification and would like to volunteer to assist with inventory collection, please fill out the volunteer form on the Parks and Recreation website at: http://www.lawrenceks.org/lprd/parks/volunteering.
For more information, please contact Crystal Miles, at (785) 832-7970.