10 Best Cities for Urban Forests: Charlotte
- Photo Credit: Charlie Cowins
- Charlotte Light Rail. Credit: Daquella Manera/Flickr
- Downtown Charlotte. Credit: Erik Cleves Kristensen
- Charlotte skyline. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
- Charlotte East West Boulevard Station. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Mecklenburg County, in which Charlotte sits at the heart, was awarded the National Gold Medal Award in 2012 by the National Recreation and Park Association. Charlotte itself boasts a number of recreation attractions, such as the U.S. National Whitewater Center and the literature-themed “pocket” park known as The Green. And these are just a few of the things making up Charlotte’s urban forest.
Over the years, Charlotte’s urban forest has flourished under strong comprehensive management plans, as well as tree ordinances designed to protect both public and private trees. A public-private initiative, TreesCharlotte, has involved nonprofits, government and communities to plant trees on private property, which is important since it’s estimated that the aesthetic value of Charlotte’s urban trees, impacting things like property values, provides the city with $2.76 million in benefits. In addition, Charlotte’s trees provide more than $900,000 in energy savings annually and $2.1 million in stormwater controls.