Urban Refuge

The urban forests in our municipalities are highly diverse, ranging from healthy natural areas and traditional parks, to open space and greenways, woodlots, and trees and plants found in streetscapes and other residential and business landscapes. Trees and parks provide multiple environmental, human health, economic, educational, family, and social benefits that support healthy and prosperous communities in many ways.

Urban trees: • Increase the property values 5 to 20%. • Increase the amount of time people spend shopping and the amount they are willing to spend for parking and retail goods. • Increase desire to lease commercial real estate, even more than a building’s proximity to main roads. • Reduce health, energy, stormwater, and other costs to people and society.

A single large shade tree: • Saves $29 in summertime air conditioning by shading a building and cooling the air. • Absorbs 10 pounds of air pollution, including ozone and particulates plus 90 pounds of carbon dioxide through direct sequestration in wood and reduced power plant emissions. • Intercepts and evaporates 760 gallons of rainfall in its own crown, thereby reducing runoff of stormwater and flooding.

Photo by Julianne Schieffer

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