In 2005, the City drafted a comprehensive plan to make Radford a green city and one of the goals was the 40% tree canopy coverage as recommended by the Green Infrastructure Center. Today, we're proud to say Radford has almost 48% tree cover! This is a great start and something we should all be proud of.
There is still work to be done though. The city's next priority is to find ways to better connect the existing forest cores for the purposes of increasing recreation opportunities and increasing habitat for native species.
What is the Radford Green Infrastructure Project? The Radford Green Infrastructure Project is an initiative co-sponsored by the City of Radford, Radford University, and the Green Infrastructure Center. The goal of the project is to quantify how much forest and tree cover there is in Radford and how well interconnected it is and to make recommendations on how to maintain and possibly grow Radford's urban tree canopy (UTC).
Why are trees important?
Trees improve health by removing air and water pollutants
Trees protect property by preventing soil erosion
Trees increase property value and decrease air conditioning bills
Above.Tree canopy coverage in the City of Radford, 2015.
What is Urban Tree Canopy? Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) is the part of a city covered by trees when viewed from above.
Why is the tree canopy important to Radford?
There are many reasons why we would want to preserve the trees we have here in Radford. Trees remove pollution from both the air and water around them. They increase property value and reduce heating and cooling costs for homes.
Above. Forest cores within and nearby the City of Radford, 2015.
Forest Core: A forest core is an area or patch of relatively intact habitat that is sufficiently large to support more than one individual of a species. Consider that the greater the number of interior species present and the greater the diversity of habitats, the more important it is to conserve the core intact.
Forest Edge: The transitional boundary of a core, where the vegetation assemblage and structure differs markedly from the interior. The structural diversity of the edges (with diferent heights and types of vegetation) affects its species diversity, as well as the prevalence or abundance of native or invasive species.
Forest Corridor: A more or less linear arrangement of a habitat type or natural cover that provides a connection between cores and differs from adjacent land. Corridors are used by species to move between cores, so they need to be wide enough to allow wildlife to progress across the landscape within conditions similar to their interior habitat.
Stepping Stone: Throughout this network of core areas and corridors, certain smaller areas can provide 'stepping stones' between cores. A stepping stone tends to be a smaller area of intact habitat that may not be large enough to sustain a species on it's own, but is vital to a population's sucess over the network as a whole, as it provides a way to move across the landscape.
Above.The map shows Tree Canopy in green and the various subdivisions in red. Radford's subdivisions and neighborhoods are listed below in order of most tree cover to least. Click the magnifying glass to enter you address.