DJUSD Urban Forest Guide


urban forest guide image

The Davis Joint Unified School District provides educational facilities and programs to approximately 8,500 students in grades K-12 at over 16 school sites and campuses. With the passing of Measure M, in 2018, a total of $226 million dollars of bond funding was allocated to the upgrading of district school campus facilities for safety and 21st century learning over the following 4+ years. Over 8.6 million square feet of school campuses contain a total of 2,403 trees that provide over 1.7 million square feet of tree shade area.

Trees play an essential role in the school communities within DJUSD by providing various benefits, environmental and socioeconomic, to students, staff, and visitors. Research has shown that healthy urban trees can improve the local environment and lessen the impact resulting from urbanization and industry (Center for Urban Forest Research, 2017). Trees improve air quality, reduce energy consumption, help manage stormwater, reduce erosion, provide wildlife habitat, and promote a connection with nature. The tree canopies across all 16 DJUSD campuses play an invaluable role in providing a healthy and livable environment within the community.

What is the purpose of the Urban Forest Guide?
The purpose of the DJUSD's Urban Forest Guide (UFG) is to provide a framework for the long-term care, preservation, and expansion of the District’s urban forest. The UFG recognizes the significance of environmental and socioeconomic benefits from trees and their relationship with school and community values. These benefits include air quality, stormwater management, urban heat island reduction, shade cover, aesthetics, and other socioeconomic factors that provide value to the schools and community.
What are the goals of the Urban Forest Guide?

The goals of the Urban Forest Guide are to:

  1. Ensure that District practices support the protection, preservation, and sustainability of the District’s urban forest
  2. Ensure interagency and interdepartmental cooperation and communication about tree related activities and maintenance operations
  3. Promote community engagement, involvement, and appreciation for the urban forest
  4. Encourage and facilitate collaboration between the City and nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, utilities, neighborhood and business groups, volunteers, and other local and regional efforts to grow the urban forest and optimize the benefits of this natural resource
  5. Support and guide the District in our tree maintenance and operations as well as our design professionals in their roles as the District’s campuses continue to plan improvements and expand
  6. Ensure cost efficient programming and sustainability of funding resources to support the District’s urban forest

The Urban Forest Guide includes objectives and action strategies for both long and short-term efforts aimed at meeting the defined goals. The following objectives and action strategies are detailed in the following sections of the Guide.

1. Tree Inventory
  • Compile a full inventory of every tree on school district property to include tree species, dormancy, approximate height, approximate canopy width, trunk diameter, and observable health conditions.
  • Create a map for each school property that exhibits the location of each tree along with tag numbering information for identification and database logging.
  • Determine tree canopy coverage on each school site.
  • Create a searchable excel database for use by the district maintenance and operations staff.
2. Protection and Maintenance of the District's Urban Forest
  • Establish tree mitigation guidelines and shade study recommendations
  • Establish distancing requirements between trees and planned capital improvement projects such as new school buildings identified in the District’s 2018 Facilities Master Plan and anticipated solar array installations.
  • Research and establish tree mitigation recommendations of any tree(s) that need to be removed
  • Establish tree maintenance, pruning, and protection guidelines.
3. Plans for Replacing and Adding Trees
  • Provide a District Master Tree List with guidelines for appropriate species to be planted in or near the various school site sub-environments.
  • Develop new tree planting plans for each school site
  • Develop tree replacement plans for each school site