Denver Urban Forest Fact Sheet

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City Statistics

Population+ 600,158
Land area by acres* 98,142
Park acreage* 5,902

+Based on the 2010 U.S. Census
*Courtesy of The Trust for Public Land


Denver Urban Forest Facts*

  • Denver’s urban forest:
    • Shades 19.7 percent of the Denver.
    • Has 2.2 million trees equaling 3.7 trees per capita and 29.2 trees per acre.
    • Saves 56,471 Mwh each year in cooling, equaling more than $6.7 million dollars in energy savings.
    • Stores 310 tons of CO2 and sequesters an additional 14 tons of CO2 each year.
    • Removes 290 pounds of air pollution each year.
    • Provides $211.2 million in property value each year.+
  • Denver’s parks:
    • Retain stormwater, cutting the costs of water treatment by $804,000.
    • Reduce air pollution costs by $129,000.
    • Provide social benefits, such as reduced crime, valued at $2.7 million.
    • Provide annual revenue to the city of $7.1 million, municipal savings of $3.6 million, residential savings of $517 million and a collective resident wealth increase of $48.7 million.*
  • It’s estimated that Denver’s park systems have increased property value, cumulatively, by $30.7 million and have created $18 million net income in the tourism field. Based on a survey of 600 Denver residents, Denver’s parks contributed to $65 million in health savings by increasing physical activity and lowering medical expenses.*

+ As reported to American Forests in February 2013 by Denver Parks and Recreation Forestry Division.
* As reported in “The Economic Benefits of Denver’s Park and Recreation System,” which was developed for Denver in 2010 by The Trust for Public Land.


Top 10 Criteria

Urban Forest Management Plan Yes, completed in 2002
Urban Canopy Goal Yes, supported by, but not mandated by, the city government
Quality of Urban Forest Compared to Others in Region Better than normal, which means minor biotic damage and few invasive species, minimal anthropogenic  disturbance, high water quality and good drainage
Tree Inventory Yes, covering public and private land
Tree Species Diversity Plan Yes, including some requirements on developers to plant diverse species
Tree Ordinances Yes, for both public and private lands covering hazard and other trees
Comprehensive Greening Plans Yes, including a Sustainability Plan and Climate Change Plan
Types of Greening Initiatives Protection of open spaces; natural resource restoration;urban forests as part of planning for runoff, erosion and/or flooding; green jobs training; active  involvement of environmental stewardship groups
Park Acres per 1,000 People 9.83
Percentage of Land as Park 6.01
Quality of Civic Engagement Good, with citywide stewardship and neighborhood interactions
Tree City USA* Yes
Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement Signatory Yes

*Designation awarded by The Arbor Day Foundation to cities that have a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

Critical Issues