Defining a Vision and Setting Goals

Once you have an idea of the current conditions and issues associated with trees in your community, you can begin to look forward to what type of community forest you wish to have.  Develop a vision statement that describes the future state of your community forest.

Once you have a vision you can define goals for your tree ordinance.  What purpose do you want the ordinance to serve?  What is the intent of the regulations?  Once you define the purpose and intent, these can be written directly into the tree ordinance.


A vision statement is a description of what your community forest looks like in the mid- or long-term future.  Vision statements should be aspirational and will be used as a guide for future action.

Our community forest is cool and leafy green, and surrounds us where we live, work, and play.  As you enter our city, you are aware of the beauty and abundance of our trees, which are an integral part of the natural and built environment.   


Goals are the end toward which effort is directed.  In terms of the community forest vision statement above, for example, a tree canopy cover goal would be to maintain no net loss of tree canopy cover or to increase tree canopy cover wherever possible.

Another goal might be to have a better distribution of trees across the community so that no matter where you go, trees are a dominant part of the landscape.