Urban forests are critical to the health and quality of life within our cities. Unfortunately, they are constantly facing challenges such as urban expansion, invasive pests, changing climates and underfunded management and maintenance. Unlike their counterparts in natural settings, urban forests exist and are maintained only through human intervention.
American Forests is committed to raising awareness about the vital benefits our urban forests provide and the science-based tools that are out there to best assess those benefits. We are committed to offering a national perspective on what cities across the country are doing to improve their urban forests and to offering tools and resources to help cities better understand and speak up for their urban forests.
American Forests defines urban forests as “ecosystems of trees and other vegetation in and around communities that may consist of street and yard trees, vegetation within parks and along public rights of way and water systems. Urban forests provide communities with environmental, economic and social benefits and habitat for fish and wildlife.” Thus, urban forests are not only about the trees in the city, but rather, they are a critical part of the green infrastructure that makes up the city ecosystem.
Funding for some of American Forests’ Urban Forests work is being provided by Urban and Community Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.