Louisville Metro Council: Tree ordinance may reduce urban heat island

Louisville Metro Council: Tree ordinance may reduce urban heat island
A new Louisville Metro Tree Advisory Committee, who would be appointed by the Mayor and approved by Metro Council, would help the efforts.  (Source: WAVE 3 News)
A new Louisville Metro Tree Advisory Committee, who would be appointed by the Mayor and approved by Metro Council, would help the efforts.  (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Louisville Metro Council is working to reduce the city's well-documented urban heat island effect.

Council members Bill Hollander and Cheri Bryant-Hamilton are working with the Louisville Metro Tree Advisory Commission to get a new tree ordinance in place.

"We have seen a significant loss in tree canopy in Louisville Metro and this ordinance will help focus attention on the issue, protect the trees we have and reduce the possibility of more losses," Councilman Hollander said. "It recognizes that trees are important to the quality of life and to our health."

It would consolidate Louisville's tree efforts into the Metro Division of Community Forestry, to provide oversight and comprehensive coordination for tree and forestation issues.

"This does not put any new burdensome, any requirements on private property trees, what you can plant, what you can do on private property. But it goes say on Metro government property and on rights of way  we need to protect our trees in a particular way." said Bill Hollander.

"A healthy tree canopy contributes mightily to a healthy community, improving air and water quality, reducing the urban heat island effect, and providing a more pleasant place to live, work, learn, and play," said Cindi Sullivan, Executive Director of the non-profit TreesLouisville. "To improve our community tree canopy, we must protect our existing trees and plant new trees."

A new Louisville Metro Tree Advisory Committee, who would be appointed by the Mayor and approved by Metro Council, would help the efforts.

The ordinance will be assigned to a Metro Council committee and be considered early 2017.

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