Worcester Urban Forest Master Plan

IN OCTOBER 2023, the City of Worcester released a draft Urban Forest Master Plan (UFMP), issuing ten recommendations meant to guide the further preservation, management, and expansion of Worcester’s urban forest—and in particular, Worcester’s public “street trees.” The UFMP is a vision, a first-step, intended to guide long-term budgets and inform other management plans going forward by the City’s Forestry Operations, a unit of the Department of Public Works and Parks. The plan emphasizes a transformation from reactive to proactive management; not only engaging with resident concerns, but anticipating them. This marks a turn towards equity and the importance of climate resilience, while it stresses continued focus on prevention and protection against all manner of threats to the urban forest, whether pests (like the Asian Longhorned Beetle or the Spotted Lanternfly), disease, or other natural phenomena.