EDMOND — Edmond officials are working to design a green infrastructure plan in an effort to preserve, protect and restore the city's natural resources for future development of the community.
The Green Infrastructure Initiative began in the fall of 2008 with a grant from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
The initiative is part of an informal partnership between the city and the Edmond Land Conservancy, a nonprofit land trust organization committed to preserving, creating and improving Edmond's natural, scenic and outdoor recreational environment.
Council members held two workshops this month to discuss a 65-page Green Infrastructure report and what direction the city intends to take to create a plan for Edmond.
“I have lived in Edmond 53 years and watched more and more open space used,” said Mayor Charles Lamb. “It is important to stay green.”
Lamb will be working with city staff members to come up with recommendations on the direction the city wants to take.
Edmond already has projects that keep the green infrastructure in mind such as a trail study. City officials also are developing and maintaining an inventory of forest conditions of city property and keeping inventory for miles of existing trails, park area and other conservation areas.
The city has 54,430 acres of existing trails, park area and other conservation areas.
Urban forestry officials are completing an urban tree canopy study, which is a measurement, when viewed from above, of the amount of leaves, limbs and stems that shelter the ground.
In the residential area, officials found there is 46.2 percent tree canopy cover, which is a good percentage, said Leigh Martin, urban forestry assistant. There are an estimated 4 million trees in the residential areas, the study found.
Education and amendments to the zoning plan were two suggestions city leaders will review to implement a green infrastructure plan. Recommendations will be brought back to the city council for consideration.