Ian Gray – Urban Forestry & Natural Resources Manager | 425-430-6601 | IGray@RentonWA.gov



The City’s Community Services Department, led by the Urban Forestry & Natural Resources team, manages public trees in Renton and is in the process of developing a 10-year update to the City’s Urban Forest Management Plan (“Plan” or “UFMP”) with PlanIT Geo’s urban forestry consultants. This Plan will serve as a road map to support the long-term dedication to maintain and enhance the urban forest. The Plan will provide an integrated approach to preserving, sustaining, diversifying, and regenerating Renton’s urban forest into the future. By conducting an in depth review of existing City codes, policies, and plans regarding the urban forest as well as gathering input from the community, the goals, objectives, strategies, actions, and monitoring techniques will be developed for urban forest management Citywide. Instrumental to the development of this Plan, is the participation from the community.

The urban forest is comprised of all trees in the City, both native and planted, that contribute to the seasonal beauty and livability of the community. Whether it is a large, majestic western hemlock, or a young flowering cherry, trees greatly contribute to the sense of place and quality of life in Renton. Trees help clean the air, conserve the soil and water, reduce heating and cooling costs, and bring nature close to where we live. Renton’s urban forest is a valuable asset that, if maintained, will continue to add to the health of our community for generations to come.

The commitment to a healthy urban forest is evidenced by Renton receiving the recognition as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation every year since 2008. The City has been granted numerous “Growth Awards” from the Arbor Day Foundation for outstanding efforts on urban forest projects. This status indicates the City’s long-term dedication to the care of trees comprising the urban forest. Based on an ongoing inventory, the City has over 27,466 in streets, rights-of-way, parks and golf courses as well as an estimated 89,528 in natural areas. This Plan will provide new and enhanced strategies for maintaining and growing this vital urban forest.

We all benefit from the proper care and enhancement of the trees in Renton and caring for the urban forest is an important part of growing a sustainable, healthy, and vibrant city. These goals cannot be achieved without the input of its residents and a shared commitment and partnership with the City. Together, we will develop a strategic plan that will maintain the City’s character shaped by the urban forest, maintain public safety, establish a sustainable and resilient urban forest, strengthen and create new partnerships, and grow a healthy urban forest to benefit all who live, work, and play in the City of Renton.

For more information, visit the Urban and Community Forestry webpage on the City’s website and stay engaged by following the Urban Forestry Management Plan website. For questions and comments please contact the City’s Urban Forestry & Natural Resources Manager at IGray@RentonWa.Gov.


This Urban Forest Management Plan project began in May 2021  with a timeline for completion by the end of February 2022. To develop the Plan, a systematic planning approach will be implemented to complete the following scope of work identified in the City’s Request for Proposal issued on February 19, 2021:

  1. Initial coordination meeting
  2. Report outline
  3. Document outline, layout, graphics color and hierarchy
  4. Project timeline and deliverables
  5. Interdepartmental meeting coordination, community outreach and data collection
  6. Final report collation, editing, and production
  7. References
    1. Mission statement and executive summary
    2. Purpose and scope
    3. Historical situation
    4. Current situation:
      1.  Community
      2.  Resource
      3. Administrative
    5. Urban Forestry Needs:
      1. Community (environmental justice, neighborhood engagement, and equity plan)
      2. Resource (maintenance needs, tree planting initiative, and staffing)
      3. Administrative (risk tree management plan, preparedness planning based on WA Invasive Species Council UF Pest Readiness Playbook)
    6. Goals & Objectives
    7. Strategies for accomplishing goals & objectives
    8. Implementation schedule and budget – 10 year work plan with benchmarks
    9. Plan evaluation process
    10. SummaryA tentative plan outline will include:

The steps for completing the project scope of work include:

An Information and Discovery Phase

where existing plans and policies will be reviewed to gauge the City’s readiness for improved urban forest management.

Workshops with City staff

to map out existing workflows and operations as it relates to urban forest management which will identify strengths, opportunities, resource needs, efficiencies, and gaps.

An analysis of existing conditions

This includes an analysis of the more than 27,000 street trees and other environmental datasets.

Benchmarking research

will be conducted to cross-examine Renton’s urban forest management status with industry standards and comparable cities. This will inform the development of attainable goals and actions in the UFMP.

Community engagement

will be implemented throughout the planning process with a series of virtual public meetings and online surveys to gather feedback by listening to the viewpoints of the community. 

An urban forest audit

will be conducted by using the outcomes of the previously described planning elements. This audit process adapted the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban Forest Sustainability and Management Audit System to be specific to Renton. The audit will identify the City’s strengths and opportunities as it relates to 11 categories of urban forest management and sustainability. This information and ranking system will inform the development of the UFMP’s goals and actions.