What is the Urban Forest District?
The Urban Forest District is a funding mechanism for the City of Helena’s Urban Forestry Division. Property owners in City limits pay an annual assessment to fund staff in the Urban Forestry Division, along with general operating costs.
No. In the 1990s, the City established an Urban Forestry program. The Urban Forest District was created in November 2010 by vote of the City Commission. State law requires a review of the district every 13 years. The City Commission approved re-creation of the District on August 21, 2023.
The District includes all properties located within City-limits. Any properties that are annexed into the City in the future are included in the district.
Without the Urban Forest District there is currently no funding mechanism to support an Urban Forestry Division, which cares for over 11,000 trees in City parks, open spaces, and City rights-of-way. The Urban Forestry Division is responsible for pruning trees, planting new trees, providing expertise on long-term tree management, among other duties. The City of Helena currently employs a team of Arborists along with seasonal staff that help with tree maintenance.
Property owners within City limits currently pay $39.00 per year for each lot they own. The assessment amount is evaluated annually during the City’s budget creation for the next fiscal year.