Information about caring for and renewing Santa Monica’s urban forest is now available in a centralized location on the city’s Web site.

The city of Santa Monica’s Public Landscape Division and Urban Forest Master Plan Task Force have launched the new urban forest portal at www.santamonicatrees.com/.

Future versions of the site will feature interactive tree maps and a photo gallery.

“We’re very excited about santamonicatrees.com/. We envision it as an important tool for educating the public about the urban forest and engaging the community in the update of the Urban Forest Master Plan that’s now underway,” said Barbara Stinchfield, director of the Community and Cultural Services Department. “A healthy urban forest is something the whole community can get behind.”

Urban forests provide environmental, health and economic benefits to their communities, city officials note. The ongoing health and renewal of Santa Monica’s forest is guided by the Community Forest Management Plan 2000, adopted in 1999.

A new long range urban forest master plan is under development and is overseen by a community-based task force appointed by the City Council. The task force meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month, with the next meeting scheduled for Sept. 29.

City officials said the urban forest portal is another step toward updating the way the city manages its online presence.

A series of subject-based portals is designed to provide quick and easy access to information without having to wade through the city department and division information. Accessible Santa Monica was launched in July in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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