San Francisco Public Works is a proud member of the Cities4Forests initiative. The City of San Francisco has demonstrated a commitment to its urban forest, as well as forests beyond its borders. Just a few years ago, the city’s 125,000 street trees were in serious decline and largely not maintained. To reverse this trend, San Francisco Public Works developed an Urban Forest Plan containing a strategy for greener and healthier street trees. The plan resulted in a public advocacy campaign and voter-backed initiative to create and fund a city-wide street tree maintenance program. With resources now in place to care for all the city’s street trees, San Francisco Public Works is maximizing the benefits the urban forest provides. Tree-lined streets have become a critical element of San Francisco’s climate protection, social equity, and environmental agenda. From improving public health and helping children learn better to storing carbon and enhancing wildlife habitat, urban trees provide a range of important benefits. In addition to its street tree program, the city has adopted policies designed to protect nearby and faraway forests. These include bans on products made of virgin wood from California’s old-growth redwood forests and hardwoods from the world’s tropical rainforests.
“The City of San Francisco recognizes the many benefits urban trees provide and the role cities play in conserving and sustainably managing our forests. San Francisco Public Works is responsible for the maintenance of the city’s 125,000-plus street trees. We support the Cities4Forests Declaration and look forward to working together to advance our urban forestry goals, share successes and learn from peer cities around the globe.”
Director, San Francisco Public Works
In 2016, San Francisco voters passed Proposition E, which set aside $19 million annually from the city’s general fund to fund a new city-wide street tree maintenance program: StreetTreeSF.
In 2017, San Francisco Public Works began the implementation of StreetTreeSF, the city-wide street tree, and tree-related sidewalk maintenance program. To date, StreetTreeSF has maintained more than 36,000 street trees or approximately 24% of the city’s street tree population.
In 2017, San Francisco Public Works completed its first city-wide street tree census. The project identified approximately 125,000 street trees comprised of more than 500 species. The survey also noted the condition and location of each tree.
The City of San Francisco has set a goal of growing its street tree population by 50,000 new street trees over the next 20 years.
NEARBY AND FARAWAY FORESTS
Existing city ordinances prohibit the City of San Francisco from using or purchasing products made of virgin wood from California’s old-growth redwood forests and hardwoods from the world’s tropical rainforests.