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Urban Forest Task Force

Contact: 310-458-8974 or

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What We Do

To help ensure a focused and effective advisory body, during its tenure, the Task Force will advise staff in the following areas related to the urban forest:


• Form standing committees and ad hoc committees as needed and as staff resources permit.

• The Species Selection Subcommittee shall be an ongoing standing committee concerned with tree species selections in the city's parkways, medians, parks and public improvement projects, reporting to the Task Force as a whole body.

Capital Projects

• Provide input on proposed tree planting activities in City public improvement projects.

Street Tree Species Selection

• Provide input on street tree species designation, including those adjacent to designated city landmarks and within historic districts. The latter will be accomplished in conjunction with the Landmarks Commission.


• Provide input on the development of the Heritage Tree educational program.

• Encourage responsible stewardship of trees on private property.

• Provide input to staff on written materials sent to residents regarding trees.


• Advocate and support funding initiatives including grant funding opportunities.

Report Evaluation

• Evaluate biennial reports and the first seven-year report on achieving the stated environmental performance goals as specified in the Master Plan. As needed, the Task Force will advise staff on recommended changes to the Master Plan's goals and strategies, including the appeals processes, tree species designations, tree valuation, the public review process for tree removals, and tree relocations as part of City public improvement projects.

Public Liaison

• Listen to public concerns about tree related issues and convey those concerns to City staff.

• Advocate for transparency in City operations and for best practices in their interactions with outside contractors.

• Act as representatives of the Urban Forest Task Force before other appointed bodies and before the City Council on matters agreed upon by the Task Force.

• Provide input on tree planting for School District property.

Advisory Recommendations

• Hear reports and provide advisory recommendations.

• Hear reports from City Departments concerning tree aspects of ongoing projects.

• Provide input on implementation of LUCE including input zoning ordinance and development requirements related to public and/or private trees.

Who We Are
The Urban Forest Task Force is currently comprised of 7 members:

Grace Phillips, Chair

Thomas Cleys, Vice Chair

Hans Baumann

Robin Carmichael

Gloria Garvin

Armando Martinez

Ellis Raskin

City of Santa Monica © 2019

Santa Monica Public Landscape Division, 2600 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405 | p: 310.458.8974