Addison, William A.
The Department of Highway Transportation and Public Works (DTOP) has implemented an urban reforestation plan alongside principal roads and highways in Puerto Rico as a mitigation disposition on Regulation 25 (mandated reforestation procedures). The Department of Natural and Environmental Resources '(DNER) predetermined tree health rubric was utilized as one criterion to evaluate the success of this plan. Although the majority of the trees are in good health(2.86 out of 3 for all regions) the individual trees with poor health appear to exhibit similar characteristics that are in conflict with regulation 25. These characteristics that are indicative of poor health are directly related to tree species (native or exotic), soil condition and site selection .This indicates that Regulation 25 must be followed more closely. Results from community interviews show a strong interest among community members to contribute to the urban reforestation process; however, actual community participation was found to be at 36%, substantially less than the 97% who say that participation is important. If government agents educate community members and encourage them to get more involved, particularly by personnel contact and networking; a more successful program and higher tree survival rate will surely ensue.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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