The Forestry Division of the Park and Recreation Department includes two Certified Arborists that also perform various other duties for the Park Division. They are certified and accredited by the International Society of Arboriculture and the Nebraska Arborist Association. The Division oversees the City’s tree pruning and removal contracts, administers the City’s Street Tree Grant Program, oversees the purchase and planting of new and replacement trees in park development projects, and helps maintain and utilizes the City’s tree nurseries. Also, and perhaps most importantly, they maintain numerous networking contacts with the Nebraska Forest Service, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, Nebraska Department of Agriculture, and the National Arbor Day Foundation that sponsors the Tree City Recognition Program that the City has met the criteria for over 30 consecutive years.
The Forestry Division participated in a program called “Environmentally Adapted Trees” in which various sizes and diverse species and cultivars have been planted in the parks and nursery as part of a Nebraska Statewide Arboretum program to test and develop more diverse and better adapted tree planting options.
The Division also works closely with the Development Services Department’s Code Enforcement Division in a consultation basis on R.O.W. trees and some other specialized woody vegetation management activities. All of these activities are pursued by the Forestry Division on behalf of the citizens of Kearney to promote and maintain a healthy, diverse, and sustainable urban forest