The Carbon Sequestration strategy in the City’s Climate Action Plan aims to facilitate the process of removing carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere through natural or artificial processes. Trees, algae, and other vegetation are referred to as “carbon sinks” because they naturally take in atmospheric carbon dioxide through their respiration processes. An important way our community can improve its carbon sequestration potential is by increasing the number of trees planted and by maintaining a healthy urban tree canopy.
Implementation of the Carbon Sequestration strategy is estimated to reduce the City’s GHG emissions by 5 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) by 2020 and 66 MTCO2e by 2030. Explore the sections below to learn about the City’s planned and ongoing actions to achieve these greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
Urban Forest Management Program
The City of Encinitas maintains a thriving urban forest that includes trees along city streets and trees in city parks. New trees are continually being added to the City's urban forest and established City trees are maintained regularly. In addition to carbon sequestration, trees provide many benefits to our community by improving water quality, reducing stormwater runoff, regulating temperature, reducing energy use in buildings, cleaning the air, enhancing property values, supporting human health, and providing wildlife habitat.
We recognize the City’s urban forest as one of our greatest natural resources. City leaders and staff have made our trees a priority and they are dedicated to the continued planting, protection and maintenance of Encinitas’ urban forest. The departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation have an established Urban Forest Management Program (UFMP) which closely follows the City’s UFMP Administrative Manual. In 2018, the City hired a City Arborist to support the implementation of the UFMP and oversee the care of the City’s trees.
City trees include trees in the public right of way, typically along streets and sidewalks, and trees growing in City parks. The City's Climate Action Plan set a goal of planting 150 net new City trees by 2020 and 100 net new City trees annually after that, for a total of 1,150 net new trees planted by 2030.
At the end of 2019, the City’s urban forest included 21,459 City trees in the public right of way. Trees in the right of way are proactively cared for and maintained by the City’s Public Works Department. Trees in the City’s numerous parks are maintained by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. Between 2012 and 2019, the City planted a total of 843 net new trees, averaging about 105 net new trees planted per year. These trees were planted in the City’s right of way and within City parks.