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Urban Forests A Shield Against Climate Change

When we think of forest conservation and reforestation efforts, most people think of mountains and rainforests, but the trees in your city or town also can make a difference in many ways. In addition to the quality of life that urban forests add visually, they can reduce energy use and help absorb carbon dioxide. They can make our cities more efficient and resilient.

Trees Cool Cities and Save Energy

  • Strategically planted urban trees reduce energy use by shading buildings in summer and blocking cold winter winds
  • As they grow trees remove carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere and sequester them in their leaves, branches, trunks and roots.

Trees Strengthen Quality of Place and the Local Economy

  • Increase property values by 10 to 20% and attract more homebuyers
  • Increase municipal revenue through property tax assessments
  • Urban parks provide the settings for festival and other special events that add millions of dollars to the local economy
  • In retail/commercial districts shoppers spend more time and money and come back more often
  • Give people places to recreate, connect with nature and experience a sense of well being

Trees Improve Social Connections

  • Planting trees is one of the most valuable ways engage residents
  • Creates safer, supportive neighborhoods working for a common vision
  • Are a Focal point for community revitalization
  • Relieves mental fatigue and impulse control, restoring concentration
  • Offers a sense of place and improves the quality of life
  • Strengthens the social and economic components of environmental justice
deforestation and global warming

Trees Create Walkable Communities

  • Tree-lined streets encourage people to walk in their communities and walk further
  • Street trees have been shown to calm traffic through neighborhoods
  • Strengthen Complete Street policies for all users
  • Making streets more walkable and pedestrian encourages transit oriented development

Trees Improve Air Quality

  • By absorbing gaseous pollutants through their leaves
  • Binding or dissolving water soluble pollutants onto leaf surfaces
  • Intercepting and storing pollutants on the leaf surfaces
  • Capturing and storing air pollutants in the uneven, rough branches and trunk
  • Sequestering CO2  in trunk, branches and roots
  • Shading buildings and pavement reduces the demand for air conditioning and the formation of ozone

Trees Reduce Storm Water Runoff

  • Trees act as sponges that keep water onsite and recharge the groundwater
  • A typical urban forest of 10,000 trees will retain 10 million gallons of rainwater per year
  • Reduce the amount of runoff and pollutants into creeks
  • While manmade drainage systems such sewers and storm drains accelerate the flow of polluted water through community, trees slow it down and clean the water
  • Tree canopies and roots protect the soil from erosion
  • More trees equals lower costs for stormwater management

Trees Help Promote Smart Growth

  • Strengthen the urban core by improving public social space and the walking experience
  • Give people access to nature in the city
  • Add breathing room to more compact development
  • Separate incompatible uses and buffer noise pollution
  • Support mixed use that improves real estate values and the local economy
  • Create an interconnected framework of green infrastructure that recovers ecological function, biodiversity and wildlife habitat

Trees Also Provide Habitat and Food For Birds and Urban Wildlife.

Send us your success stories. We want to help other communities learn from you. Plus, Sacred Seedlings is accepting applications for urban reforestation programs that can help you find allies to reach your goals.

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservationreforestationurban forestrycarbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management is critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Sacred Seedlings is a charitable division of Crossbow Communications.

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Avatar Gary Chandler

Author: Gary Chandler

Gary Chandler is the founder and Executive Director of Sacred Seedlings.