Project Name: Community Greenspace
Location: New Haven, CT
Number of Trees: 50
Trees in cities and towns provide numerous benefits. They purify the air. They clean and manage rainwater. They shade and cool our buildings and cars, reducing energy needs and costs. They make our lives healthier. The more trees a city has, or the larger the canopy, the greater the impact of those benefits.
A 2008 survey of 135 cities across the country revealed that almost 50 percent of them had goals to increase their urban canopy. In 2011, New Haven, Connecticut, announced a goal to plant 10,000 new trees over the next five years. New Haven already has a relatively healthy urban canopy — about 40 percent of the city’s land — but according to a 2009 study by the USDA Forest Service and the University of Vermont, another 40 percent could be improved to support a larger tree canopy. Considering that New Haven’s trees currently save the city an estimated $4 million a year, more trees will mean even greater savings on stormwater management and energy bills.
In 2012, American Forests is partnering with New Haven's Urban Resources Initiative, a nonprofit partner of Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, to help the city reach its tree-planting goal for the year. Beyond planting 50 large-caliper trees in New Haven, the project will also work to involve local communities in the plantings and educate the city’s residents on the benefits provided by trees.
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