Pasadena, Calif.; November 13, 2013 — National conservation organization American Forests, alongside funding partners, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and U.S. Forest Service, announced today that a multi-month assessment of Pasadena’s street trees has determined that the 58,267 Pasadena street trees used in the study provide an equivalent of $8.8 million in cumulative benefits each year — including $6.94 million in local commerce and property value increases and $1.36 million in air quality benefits — whereas their replacement cost, if lost, would be more than $308 million.

With the initial assessment complete, on Saturday, November 16, Bank of America volunteers will join American Forests and local partners for a tree planting event to help expand the urban forest and the benefits provided to the community. The event will be hosted by local partner Pasadena Beautiful Foundation, a nonprofit that works with individuals, community organizations and governmental representatives to restore, renew and protect Pasadena’s urban forest. Pasadena Beautiful has been instrumental in enhancing the urban forest throughout the City of Pasadena.

The study, commissioned by American Forests and conducted by Davey Resource Group, a division of The Davey Tree Expert Company, analyzed the trees of Pasadena to quantify the economic and health benefits they provide, particularly in relation to air quality in a city for which smog and pollution have been major challenges. Working closely with the city of Pasadena, the results will be used to inform future development plans for the city.

“Trees can have a profound impact on communities,” said Scott Steen, president & CEO of American Forests. “Using a science-based assessment process to determine the right trees and planting locations, American Forests is working with the City of Pasadena, Bank of America and local partners to expand the city’s urban tree canopy and enhance air quality for all of the city’s residents.”

The event is just one of many that will be conducted this fall in Pasadena by American Forests, Bank of America and the Forest Service. Based on data gleaned from the study, trees will be planted strategically, with the goal of boosting the air quality and other benefits that the urban forest supplies to Pasadena’s residents.

“Bank of America is committed to environmental sustainability and believes that global change requires local action. That is why we are working with American Forests and Pasadena Beautiful Foundation on this great restoration project,” said Raul Anaya, Los Angeles market president, Bank of America. “Urban tree canopies are important in reducing carbon impact while beautifying our community and increasing property values that allow us to thrive socially and economically for years to come. The new trees being planted also add to the incredible lushness that truly makes Pasadena unique in the Southland.”

U.S Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell has called urban trees “the hardest working trees in America.” The Forest Service is active in more than 7,000 communities across the U.S., helping them to better plan and manage their urban forests.

This assessment and restoration work in Pasadena is part of the new American Forests Community ReLeaf program, which is doing assessments in five cities this fall. With $250,000 in funding support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and funding from the U.S. Forest Service, Community ReLeaf is conducting analyses in Asbury Park, N.J.; Atlanta, Ga.; Detroit, Mich.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Pasadena, Calif., to help improve knowledge about and of the benefits urban forests provide to cities and their residents.

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About American Forests

American Forests restores and protects urban and rural forests. Founded in 1875, the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country has served as a catalyst for many of the most important milestones in the conservation movement, including the founding of the U.S. Forest Service, the national forest and national park systems and literally thousands of forest ecosystem restoration projects and public education efforts. Since 1990, American Forests has planted more than 44 million trees in forests throughout the U.S. and in 44 countries, resulting in cleaner air and drinking water, restored habitat for wildlife and fish, and the removal of millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Learn more at www.americanforests.org.

About the Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibility

Bank of America’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. As part of these efforts, employee volunteers across the company contribute their time, passion and expertise to address issues in communities where they live and work. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community.

For more Bank of America news, visit the Bank of America newsroom.

About the U.S. Forest Service

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency also has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.

CONTACTS:

Lea Sloan, American Forests, 202-737-1944, lsloan@americanforests.org
Colleen Haggerty, Bank of America, 213-621-7414, colleen.haggerty@bankofamerica.com

American Forests is an equal opportunity provider and employer.