10 Best Cities for Urban Forests: Washington, D.C.

  • Photo Credit: Ceane Lamerez
  • Georgetown. Credit: Javier Ignacio Acuña Ditzel/Flickr
  • National Mall and U.S. Capitol in the fall, Washington, D.C. Credit: Bill Holmes
  • Dupont Circle. Credit: brianholcomb/Flickr
  • Biking in downtown Washington, D.C. Credit: tvol/Flickr

The famous Monument Core — the National Mall and its monuments and memorials — in the heart of our nation’s capital is home to 17,000 trees. The District also houses the nation’s first urban park, Rock Creek Park, as part of its more than 7,000 acres of parkland and has two major rivers within its city limits.

Through a combination of city and federal staff, nonprofits and citizens, the District of Columbia has developed a healthy 35 percent tree canopy and a wide range of greening initiatives, including environmental justice work and green jobs training. The mayor announced a new sustainability initiative in 2011, and the city tries to review its urban forest management plan every two years in an effort to reach its urban forestry goals. D.C.’s trees provide $3.6 billion in structural value to the city, and the $2.6 million they save in energy costs each year reduce carbon emissions by $96,000 per year.

Learn more about D.C.’s urban forest (PDF version

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