Urban Forest Commission

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History
The Boone County Urban Forest Commission was established by the Boone County Fiscal Court in 1994 under the direction of the Boone County Conservation District in order to protect trees and forests in the county because they are essential to the present and future health, safety and welfare of all citizens. In 1996, a resolution was adopted by the Boone County Fiscal Court authorizing the Boone County Conservation District to review, assist and oversee all activities of the Boone County Urban Forest Commission. In 2001, another resolution was adopted designating the Boone County Planning Commission to manage the Board's activities.
Mission Statement
The mission of the Boone County Urban Forest Commission is to create an awareness in Boone County about the value of forests and forest management in plans for parks, public lands, and commercial property developments in order to improve the quality of life for the county's citizens. The Commission acts as a resource for county government, citizens, and businesses to facilitate the merging of man-made and natural environments so that both are accommodated and valued in the process. Here are some of the ways we can accomplish this mission:
1) Provide educational resources, materials and workshops;
2) Serve as a clearinghouse for information about urban forestry;
3) Obtain grants and other funding for beautification and conservation projects on the county's public lands;
4) Provide a forum for the exchange of ideas among citizens, businesses, public services, environmental organizations, developers, businesses, and county government;
5) Encourage responsible land development, especially on the county's public lands;
6) Promote programs which encourage citizens to become better stewards of our natural resources, such as leaf composting and recycling;
7) Coordinate activities with municipal tree commissions within the county and Northern Kentucky;
8) Assist county and state agencies in their conservation work.
Organization
The Boone County Urban Forest Commission is made up of 7 members appointed by the Judge-Executive of the Boone County Fiscal Court. The term of each member is four years. In addition, a Technical Advisory Committee assists the Boone County Urban Forest Commission in its work. The Technical Advisory Committee is made up of representatives from the Boone County Conservation District, Boone County Parks and Recreation Department, Boone County Cooperative Extension Service, Kentucky Division of Forestry, Boone County Planning Commission, Boone County Historic Preservation Review Board, Boone County Public Works Department, and the Boone County School District.
The Urban Forest Commission is charged with the responsibility to develop, update, and submit to the Fiscal Court for their approval, a plan to address the preservation, maintenance and expansion of the urban forest. Such a plan would include recommendations for the care, planting and replanting or removal of trees, shrubs and other vegetation in parks, along streets and in other public areas. The plan is also to include a program for public information and participation and for budgeting. In addition, the Urban Forest Commission advises groups on new or revised legislation or regulations concerning landscaping and preservation of vegetation on public property in Boone County. In addition, the Urban Forest Commission oversees many demonstration projects.
Business Meetings
The Boone County Urban Forest Commission meets on the fourth Monday of every month at 4:30PM in the office of the Boone County Planning Commission located at 2950 Washington Street, Burlington, Kentucky.
Board Members
Commission Members: Technical Advisory
Committee Members:
Jack Lundy, Chairman Mark Jacobs
Ray Merkel, Treasurer Robert A. Jonas, AICP
James Fausz Mike Klahr
Jenny Gulick Kris Stone
Susan Poston  
Jason Roberts  
Dick Wilkinson  
Past & Current Projects
1) Phases I and II, Burlington Landscaping & Entrance Sign Project ($8,600)
2) Central Park Arboretum Label Project ($3,000)
3) Phase III, Burlington Landscaping Project (Burlington Elementary School) ($17,757)
4) Phase I, Burlington Town Plan Streetscape Project ($20,000)
5) Walton School Road Project ($3,500)
6) Phases I - IV, Hopeful Church Road Project ($49,231)
7) Children's Garden - Central Park Arboretum ($2,500)
8) Boone County Urban Forest Commission Strategic Plan ($2,400)
9) Phase II, Burlington Town Plan Streetscape Project ($20,000)
10) Phase III, Burlington Town Plan Streetscape Project & KY 18 Master Landscaping Plan ($15,000)
11) New U.S. 42 Master Landscaping Plan & Phase I ($20,000)
12) New US 42 Master Landscaping Plan, Phase II ($35,000)
13) KY 18 Master Landscaping Plan, Phase I ($15,000)
14) New US 42 Master Landscaping Plan, Phase III ($50,000)
Value of the Board's Work
Trees are an invaluable physiological counterpart to the human environment. They absorb a high percentage of carbon dioxide and return oxygen which is a vital ingredient of life. Trees are a valuable asset that positively impact Boone County economically, as well as add to the beauty of the county. Trees conserve energy by providing shade, filtering air, stabilizing soil thus preventing erosion, and provide shelter for the wildlife. Thus, the Boone County Urban Forest Commission's work seeks to foster and promote beautiful and ecologically healthy environments in Boone County's public lands by working in cooperation with the county's governmental agencies and to encourage responsible environmental stewardship by government and business throughout the county.
Grant Awards
2007 - $4,000 - Kentucky Division of Forestry - Boone County Champion Tree Program
2006 - $1,000 - Northern Kentucky Urban & Community Forestry Council - Burlington Tree Inventory and Walking Tour Brochure
2003 - $1,200 - Northern Kentucky Urban & Forestry Council - Strategic Plan
1999 - $2,500 - Northern Kentucky Urban & Forestry Council - Boone County Arboretum Tree Tagging Project
Contact Information
Robert A. Jonas, AICP
GIS Specialist, Planning Services Division
Boone County Planning Commission
(P) 859.334.2196
(E) rjonas@boonecountyky.org