About the Urban Forestry Committee

The Urban Forestry Committee is charged with advising on the management and maintenance of all existing and new trees and shrubs on all public grounds and public ways in Somerville.

  • Members

  • Meetings

  • Purpose & Duties

  • Memos

  • Chris Dwan, Co-Chair
  • Althea Northcross, Co-Chair
  • Tori Antonino
  • Henry Ayanna, Youth Member
  • Jennifer Clifford
  • Conor Guidarelli
  • Sharon Komorow
  • Amy Mertl
  • Sarah Sweeting, Youth Member
  • Vanessa Boukili (Ex-Officio), Senior Urban Forestry and Landscape Planner
  • Mark Lawhorne (Ex-Officio), Tree Warden

The Commission generally meets once per month, on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Due to COVID-19 virus containment efforts, these meetings are currently being held remotely.
 
Click here to view Urban Forestry meeting agendas and minutes.

The Purpose & Duties of the Urban Forestry Committee are ordained in the City of Somerville Tree Preservation Ordinance (Ordinance number 2019-15).

Purpose: The Urban Forestry Committee will be charged with advising with respect to the management and maintenance of all existing and new trees and shrubs on all public grounds and public ways of the City of Somerville.

Duties: The Urban Forestry Committee shall:

a) Review planting policies for trees and shrubs on public grounds and public ways of the City of Somerville, appraise the appropriateness of such plantings, their placement, and the type of maintenance necessary. The Urban Forestry Committee shall also review those planting proposals which it deems significant for trees and shrubs on public grounds and public ways of the City of Somerville.

b) This Committee shall have the ability to comment during any City of Somerville permitting review process.

c) This Committee may elect to review issues related to the health, effective maintenance, and protection of existing trees and shrubs on public grounds and public ways of the City of Somerville, recommend solutions to any problems identified with such plantings, update the tree inventory with detailed information, and support all public education and outreach by:

i) Promoting knowledge and awareness of the benefits of trees in the City.

ii) Developing and maintaining a website;

iii) Developing and maintaining a noteworthy tree program;

iv) Developing educational materials regarding best management practices for tree care;

v) Supporting City staff in establishing a volunteer adopt-a-tree program;

vi) Supporting City staff during Arbor Day Celebrations; and

vii) Considering and recommending incentives for tree planting and maintenance.

d) Upon request of the applicant, this Committee shall consider and make recommendations to the Tree Warden on waivers for any required replantings or payments associated with the issuance of a Tree Permit.

e) This Committee may keep records of trees planted and removed within the City of Somerville and may issue regular reports on the overall status of the City’s urban canopy.