Audubon Park Forest Board
Mission: To maintain a canopy from shade trees over all public ways of Audubon Park, so that we can continue to walk under majestic high branches and leaves from trees that may be older than we are – and to plant the trees that will continue as a heritage for our children and grandchildren.
Organization and Purpose:
The Forest Board was established by ordinance in 2002. It was tasked with preservation and renewal of the urban forest in Audubon Park – with specific emphasis on the city’s parks and street easements. As part of its mission, the ordinance also established a Forest Board, comprised of 6-12 resident members (who serve staggered terms of four years), to oversee the preservation and renewal of the City’s urban forest. Under its mandate, the board was charged with developing a forest management plan and a tree inventory, and to serve as an advisory group to city government. Members of the Forest Board provide a valuable educational resource to residents on the proper care and treatment of trees such as how to plant, appropriate selection based on height limitations and site specifics, how to properly prune and other topics.
Tree City USA
Audubon Park was initially designated a Tree City USA community in 2005. Sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, the mission of the Tree City USA program is “to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees”. The program provides guidance on how to plant more trees and to work toward safer, healthier urban forests. There are four requirements for this designation: 1) a tree board or department; 2) a tree care ordinance; 3) a community forestry budget with at least $2 per capita; and 4) an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. Audubon Park’s commitment to its majestic trees and urban tree canopy dovetails closely with the mission of Tree City USA and the Arbor Day Foundation.
Ash Tree Removal Incentive Program
Try to imagine our tree canopy with one of every four street trees gone! A recent inventory of all Audubon Park trees within 10 feet of the roadway edge shows that 25% of these are Ash trees. This does not even include the Ash trees that we are losing in front yards. All of these trees will succumb to the Emerald Ash Borer in the next 5-10 years unless they are receiving active treatment on a consistent basis. We are offering our Ash Tree Replacement Planting Program again for homeowners who qualify. If you have a declining Ash tree in your yard you may apply for a removal permit at City Hall. If the permit is approved and you have a spot where a canopy tree may be replanted you will be credited $250 toward the cost of removal once a tree is replanted by the Forest Board. Our replacement programs are usually limited to public right of way areas. This program will include front yard areas too, as long as funds are available.
Please contact me to see if you are eligible for this program or if you are unsure if your tree is an Ash tree.
Leah Netherland, Forest Board Chair
Donations for Tree Restoration:
The Audubon Park Forest Board, in conjunction with the Audubon Park Garden Club, has developed a means to accept tax-deductible donations. The Garden Club has established a Tree Restoration Fund, under its 501C(3) status that can accept donations. If you are interested in helping with restoration of the tree canopy in Audubon Park and would like to make a donation, send a check payable to the Audubon Park Garden Club, noting Tree Restoration Fund in the memo line, to Janet Shumate, 1218 Falcon Drive, Louisville, KY 40213. Janet Shumate is the treasurer of the Garden Club and will send you a tax deduction letter acknowledging your gift. Remember, many employers will match charitable donations and Janet can assist in this process. She can be contacted at (502) 636-0111.