The ecosystem integrity and habitat biodiversity objective is focused on sustaining natural systems, their functions and values. The City’s approach to restore and sustain health, productivity and biological diversity of ecosystems is based on science, collaboration and strong management practices. Strategic actions protect the City’s streamside buffers along adjacent rivers and lakes to promote ecosystem integrity. Sustaining the natural functions of wetlands for habitat biodiversity is accomplished through compliance with state statutes and local ordinances. A comprehensive urban forestry program and a commitment to use native plants restores habitat integrity.
Tree canopy coverage ratio
The preservation and protection of Germantown’s public urban forest is a commitment to managing trees as important green infrastructure assets. Performing tree inventories and measuring the tree canopy ratio annually is a management practice to determine gains and losses in the overall tree inventory on public lands.
The on-boarding process for the Ranger Naturalist was completed. The Ranger Naturalist also began the Urban Forestry Master Class program offered by the Tennessee Forestry Council. The new tree inventory system was uploaded and the training program implemented. The hiring process for the Natural Resources Manager is still in progress.
FY18 2nd Quarter: The Ranger Naturalist successfully completed the Urban Master Forestry program and received his certificate from the Tennessee Forestry Council. Several training webinars using the "TreePlotter" tree inventory data base program was completed. Tree inventory collection data began at the Oaklawn Garden Arboretum. Germantown hosted the West Tennessee Forestry Council meeting in October.
ImpactThe City has moderate impact on this measure.
City’s invasive plant inventory
Without management and removal, invasive plants negatively affect the ecological balance of the natural landscape. Many public parks, forests and open spaces in Shelby County and Germantown have been infested with invasive plants, especially Chinese privet. Invasive plants “crowd out” the regeneration and growth of trees and native plants. A systematic plan for removal and management of invasive plants is imperative to the long-term health of public lands.
Large stands of invasive plant materials must be identified, inventoried and prioritized for removal in order to protect and sustain a healthy ecosystem. This effort will be coordinated by the new Natural Resource manager. A reduction in invasive plants will be measured annually.
ImpactThe City has a moderate impact on this measure.
Oaklawn Gardens, the City’s newest public park, has been selected for an arboretum designation. The park site meets the National Arbor Day Foundation criteria. The arboretum will enhance the economic, environmental, and aesthetic value of ornamental and landscape trees and plants through long-term conservation of these resources, research, public education and garden exhibits.
With the Level I Arboretum designation for Oaklawn Garden completed last year, staff continued to work on acquiring the Level II designation for this site. Approximately 20 additional tree species are needed to achieve the next designation. Tree identification and plotting for these trees will take place in the spring during tree budding season. Additional trees may be planted using funding from the "Living Legacy Tree" fund. Planting will take place in February.
The Ranger Naturalist and local arborist plotted the Level I trees on "Tree Plotter" (a tree inventory database). This process will be completed early in the fourth quarter.
ImpactThe City has high impact on this measure.