We thought you might be interested in a simple step to help move a bill that will help increase residential and commercial tree canopy throughout VA, in the name of water quality improvement and flood mitigation.

From Tanner:

Delegate Keam’s proposed tree canopy Bill HB 2333 is something we have been looking forward to for some time.

View Bill HB 2333 here.

Why is the legislation needed?
Virginia state code currently limits the amount of canopy a locality may require a developer to plant/replace/preserve.

For example, under current law, for a residential parcel zoned for 10 or fewer units per acre, the locality may not require a tree canopy greater than 20% in 20 years’ time. For a commercial parcel, the maximum tree canopy a locality can require is 10%. That’s right, there is a maximum amount of trees a locality can require to be replaced.

What does HB 2333 do?
It exempts a locality from those caps if they’re using trees to achieve a water quality (i.e. Bay TMDL) or quantity (i.e. flood mitigation) goal.

See this attachment to see how it changes to existing law. (2pg PDF)

What can you do to support this common-sense legislation?
Simple. We are building a consortium of groups to add their names to our sign-on letter of support (see below how to join).

We will share this list with members of the House Counties, Cities and Towns subcommittee to ensure it makes its way to full committee vote.

From there we think it has a good chance of making it to the floor.

To join the sign-on letter all we need is:
Organization, Lead Signatory, and Title. You can see who else is already on board and add your organization to our running list here.

Or just email Tanner at CBF & let me know you are in!

View letter that will be sent that will include list of supporting organizations.

Have capacity to help?
Share this email with others who might be interested — HOAs, civic leagues, local government, tree stewards, healthcare companies, nurseries, tree care companies, botanical gardens, small and large businesses – anyone that has a stake in increasing tree canopy in the Bay watershed.

What is the deadline for signing?
We’ll leave the letter open until the bill is on the House Counties, Cities and Towns subcommittee #2 docket, which could be as early as next Thursday.

Thanks for your consideration. We hope you will join us. Please don’t hesitate to call if I can answer any questions about the bill.

Cheers,

Tanner Council
Hampton Roads Grassroots Manager
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Brock Environmental Center | 757.644.4113

How to Measure a Big Tree

Check out the Virginia Big Tree Program.

The Virginia Big Tree Program began as a 4-H and FFA project in 1970. Today the program is coordinated by the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech. We are a passionate community of tree enthusiasts . . .

Big Tree Measuring & Scoring link.

Trees are ranked in the Virginia Big Tree Register using a scoring system that is based on measurements of their physical dimensions . . . basic tools needed to measure a tree are a yardstick and a 100’ measuring tape.

“So, she decided she needed to plant 1,000 trees in Virginia Beach.”

A great article about a spectacular teen at Pilotonline.com:

To prove her point, Sarah refers to the “State of the Urban Forestry” report by Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation for 2015-16, which states the city’s urban tree canopy was 38 percent based on 2012 data, and that American Forests recommends a minimum of 40 percent. In response, the city adopted a 45 percent goal over the next 20 years.

“I made it my goal to help increase that percentage,” she said.

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Amazing Grace, the beloved live oak in Chics Beach, is getting crown cleaning & branch reduction tomorrow!

The work is being done on Tuesday December 19th.

View entire update at Petition on Change.org:

SUMMARY: The city has a Master Arborist coming to do the required mitigation work on our lovely tree on Tuesday, Dec 19:
City Arborist wrote…..

“I received word today that our contractor plans to do the crown cleaning and branch reduction tomorrow for the Live Oak at 2512 Bayview Avenue. We are requesting any onlookers to remain well back from city and private property lines in order to insure safety. . .