Tree inventory

A recent addition to the Village of Riverside has been the Geographic
Information System (GIS) services. Although GIS is being used in the
village to inventory multiple data items the tree inventory has gained
popularity. A few years ago the village used Davey Consultants to
locate the trees in the village parks using GPS equipment. They also
identified trees existing in the parkways and associated that
information to the nearest address. This information was incorporated
into the GIS by downloading the GPS data which was already in a
geographic data format because of the original collection tools that
were utilized. The tabular data was then matched to an address in the
GIS system and from there it was incorporated into a geographic database
with location context.

Village Forester, Mike Collins, had also maintained records of new
tree plantings and removals since the initial data collection. These
records were considered as valuable information to be updated to the
inventory as well as many other attributes such as tree widths, trimming
schedules and overall tree condition. Moreover, the versatility of the
database was made so that it can be expanded at any time to capture
more related information that may assist in making more informative
decisions when needed. The GIS was recently leveraged to determine the
overall distribution of trees in the community with a specialized
interest in clusters of specific tree types, particularly the Ash and
Elm tree species that have potential to be affected by invasive diseases
such as the Emerald Ash Borer or Dutch Elm Disease. This kind of
geographic analysis allows for a much faster response to reports of
these invasive species and targets the efforts necessary to contain
their spread not only within the Village of Riverside, but from
traversing to other neighboring communities.

Specific interest was given to Ash trees within the community and a
series of maps were created to identify where these trees were located
in Riverside. Together the maps were then used to form an index of the
entire community where each page displayed information at a legible
extent. Thus communicating the scope of the analysis in a more
effective manner by combining the Ash tree data in both the parks and
parkways. Lastly, the Public Works Assistant Director, Nathan Thiel,
posted these maps on the village website making it available to all
village residents. Its format allows a resident to choose an area on a
village map and quickly analyze the distribution of Ash Trees in a
specific area. The link to this resource is available at
http://riverside.il.us/ under the Village Quick Links and is titled
“Public Ash Tree Inventory.”​