November 2023- BUFRG researchers partner with City of Bloomington on post-tree planting survey
BUFRG researchers Stephanie Freeman-Day and Burney Fischer are in a collaboration with Bloomington Urban Forester Haskell Smith to conduct pre- and post-tree planting surveys of Bloomington residents living in neighborhoods receiving trees as part of the City's Bicentennial Bond Tree Planting Project. They just recently received and analyzed results of the post-planting survey for the first phase of the project. The pre-planting survey was conducted in early 2022 with results described in the June update here. Please scroll down to read the Executive Summary included in the Survey Report.
The City of Bloomington recently finished a large-scale, bond-funded tree planting over four planting areas. The tree planting survey, a partnership between the city and the Bloomington Urban Forestry Research Group (BUFRG), was given to residents in neighborhoods receiving trees, both before and after the trees were planted. This report describes the findings from the second survey that was sent after the plantings were complete. Surveys were sent to 311 houses, with 65 filled out and returned. With this response rate of over 20%, it is reasonable to believe that Bloomington residents are interested in the plantings and in urban forestry in their city.
Overall, respondents are positive about the plantings. 58% said they would support or participate in another planting in their neighborhood. 63% said projects such as the Bicentennial Plantings are a good use of this funding. When asked if their neighborhood could use more trees, answers varied by planting area. The Detailed Report, below, further delineates these differences. With regards to questions related to how the plantings affected their neighborhood, in general, respondents did see an impact. 65% of respondents said the plantings improved their neighborhood. 63% said they learned more about the city’s urban forestry program.
When asked about their interests in urban forestry practice and programming, answers were diverse and included topics like planting, pruning, invasive trees, native trees, fruit trees, and questions about how trees can be included in urban green infrastructure (i.e., rain gardens, flooding prevention, and urban heat island reduction). Finally, respondents were given a chance to pass along any comments or questions to the urban forester. These comments cover a variety of topics and add important insights from the Bloomington community. This survey, in both its pre-planting and post-planting forms, will be repeated in future phases of the planting project. Each iteration will help the city’s urban forestry department and BUFRG to be more informed about city residents’ attitudes, knowledge, and opinions about urban forestry in Bloomington.