Four years ago, 20 to 30 acres behind Canal Winchester's middle school was a soybean field. Now the trees there are 15 feet tall.

Four years ago, 20 to 30 acres behind Canal Winchester's middle school was a soybean field. Now the trees there are 15 feet tall.

Areas like this and others that are now treeless have created a need for Canal Winchester's woodlands map to be revised, according to urban forester Dick Miller. The map was lasted updated in 2005.

Miller and village planning and zoning administrator Andrew Dutton presented the updated map to Canal Winchester Village Council's service committee on Monday, April 18. It will go to council on May 2.

"Basically, we are just trying to protect the trees," Dutton said.

The woodlands in the area are defined solely by the map and from time to time, fallow fields naturally become woodlands, thus creating a need to redraw the map, he said.

Changes to the map include no-mow areas along Walnut Creek running through Canal Winchester.

"We nipped and tucked; areas in the James Kelly Reserve are now woodland," Miller said.

He said his goal for the village is to increase tree-canopy coverage. For a community east of the Mississippi River, the average coverage is about 40 percent; Canal Winchester has 20-percent coverage, Miller said.

"As we annex land, we are annexing cornfields. We aren't really gaining in percentage of canopy coverage," he said.

More tree-canopy coverage is important not only because it is beautiful but because it helps with stormwater control, he said.

"That is big news -- how you affect the watershed," Miller explained. "We are planting trees along streets but in reality, you get more canopy coverage by letting lands just go naturally."

The best place to do that is along the streams and tributaries, he said.

The areas Miller is trying to preserve are in floodplains and areas near important watershed land.

"There shouldn't be any head-butting about what goes where and what should be preserved," he said.

According to Dutton, there are no huge changes to the map. He and Miller are just trying to be more accurate, he said.

Dutton said aerial photos and Government Information Systems (GIS) data were used to help plot the location of the trees.

A new park at the end of Parkview Drive will be on the updated map. This park is 79 acres, not all of it woodland.

Since 80 percent of Canal Winchester is without tree-canopy coverage, Miller said his goal is to reach about 25-percent coverage, an increase of 5 percent.