In 2018, the Town of Bethlehem was awarded an Urban and Community Forestry Grant by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. NYSDEC’s Urban and Community Forestry Grants Program helps communities develop and implement comprehensive tree planting, management, maintenance, and education to create healthy forests while enhancing quality of life for residents. The award from NYSDEC of $35,000 allowed the Town to hire a professional consultant to complete a town street tree inventory and a community forest management plan. The Street Tree Advisory Committee appointed at the March 27, 2019 Town Board provides guidance to town staff and the selected consultant during the process.
Davey Resource Group conducted the inventory from August to October 2019 and processed the iTree inventory report in early November 2019. Davey Resource Group then attended a Street Tree Advisory Committee meeting in December 2019 to discuss the inventory findings and committee aspirations for the management plan. Davey Resource Group is currently working on a first draft of the management plan using information from the inventory, Town staff, as well as guidance from the Street Tree Advisory Committee. Staff, the committee, and DRG will be reaching out to community members to share the inventory findings and gather input during development of the management plan.