To expedite the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s reimbursement system following storms, the landscape architect in Deerfield Park, Fla., will create a file for every tree on city-owned property -- recording the condition, attributes and location of each tree.
When Hurricane Wilma clobbered South Florida in 2005, Deerfield Beach lost thousands of trees. But without having any real numbers, the city found it difficult to navigate FEMA's reimbursement process.
"[The tree inventory] will help us to get reimbursed by FEMA in the event of another hurricane," said Harold Hoyte, the city's landscape architect. "We created this inventory program around reimbursement."
Three things have happened to make the inventory possible. First, Hoyte said, a computer program by Davey Resource Group called "TreeKeeper" will reduce the cumbersome task of recording details about tree species, size and condition.
Second, the city got a $9,000 Urban Community Forestry Grant from the U.S. Forest Service, which went toward an $8,700 bare-bones inventory program.
Finally, the city employed a landscape architect like Hoyte, who trained in Canada and spent 11 years working in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
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