Milwaukee – Introduction

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Milwaukee Urban Forestry Quick Facts

More than two decades ago, the management team in the city of Milwaukee’s Forestry Division had a department-saving idea: They cross-trained their urban forestry staff in snow and ice removal. Today, Milwaukee’s forestry staff accounts for half of the team responsible each winter for monitoring and removing the city’s yearly average of more than 50 inches of snowfall.[1] The fact that these urban foresters provide such a crucial service each winter has enabled the forestry division to remain a key player in the city of Milwaukee.

Because of its shared snow- and ice-removal responsibilities with Sanitation, Forestry and Sanitation merged in 2004 to form the Environmental Services Division in the Department of Public Works. This unique service alignment improves snow- and ice-removal operations and provides crossover manpower from each respective section as needed for rapid cleanup of trees damaged by wind storms and garbage- or recycling-collection assistance when prolonged snow and ice operations impact collection schedules. It has also created a strong team to care for Milwaukee’s urban forest.

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[1] Wisconsin State Climatology Office. Past Wisconsin Climate. Cumulative Snowfall: Milwaukee 2010-2011. (accessed Aug. 9, 2012).