UPDATED 12/14/22: Support KCMO’s Protective Tree Ordinance

Update as of December 14, 2022:

Several weeks ago, we got word from our partners at Bridging the Gap about Ordinance #220961, which is intended to guide efforts to preserve and expand tree coverage across KCMO. Thank you so much to everyone who has spoken up for the trees thus far!

We recently got a quick update about status of the ordinance. It appears that it will not go before the City Planning Commission until sometime in February. Developers have continued to push back against the proposed legislation despite the issues it would solve. 

While this is not an ideal development, the extended timeline will allow more residents the chance to advocate for protecting our trees. Here’s what you can do:

At the moment, it’s important to remember that advocacy is a contact sport. The ordinance can still advance and protect the trees of KCMO, but only if we speak up in support.

Original Post from November 18, 2022:

Speak up for legislation to protect and improve the tree canopy for Kansas City, Missouri!

The KCMO City Planning Commission is considering Ordinance #220961, which will guide efforts to preserve and expand tree coverage across the city. This legislation is part of KCMO’s Forest Master Plan, but it is running into opposition from developers and needs your support! 

The KCMO City Planning Commission will consider the ordinance on Tuesday, December 20th at 9 am in person and virtually. It’s important that they hear from people like you to know that there is clear community support for preserving trees in Kansas City. Here’s what you can do:

  • Send an email to public.testimony@kcmo.org with “Support Ordinance 220961” in the subject line. Send your comments in before 4pm on Friday, December 16th.
  • Join the meeting virtually or in person to testify to the commission directly.

As climate change becomes a greater issue for Kansas City, more has to be done to protect residents and businesses from excessive heat, rainfall, and air pollution. Trees are a natural resource which not only help to address these challenges, but also contribute to street safety and comfort for people who walk, bike, roll, and use transit.

Trees in Kansas City’s urban core remain under threat, with more than 10% of our urban forest lost to the Emerald Ash Borer and 60% of our forest deemed in fair to poor condition, according to Bridging the Gap. More has to be done to protect our tree canopy and Ordinance #220961 can help the city do so. How the legislation achieves this boils down to three key elements:

  1. Expanding requirements for developers to have a tree preservation plan in place
  2. Mandating the replacement of portions of the tree canopy removed during development
  3. Defining additional ways to support the tree canopy over time

As KCMO works to become more sustainable, we have to do more to preserve and improve the built and natural environments of our city. Trees are an integral part of climate resilience and street safety, and BikeWalkKC needs your help to make that happen!

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