Atlanta, Ga.

Atlanta, Ga. Credit: Carissa Rogers

Price Middle School students plant a tree as part of a Community ReLeaf project in Atlanta.

Price Middle School students plant a tree as part of a Community ReLeaf project in Atlanta. Credit: Melinda Housholder/American Forests

Project Year:
2013

Focus:
Determining how the urban forest surrounding the city’s schoolyards improves students’ well-being

Scope/Size:
The area around approximately 30 schools

Bank of America volunteers stand with a tree they have planted as part of a Community ReLeaf planting event at Price Middle School in Atlanta.

Bank of America volunteers stand with a tree they have planted as part of a Community ReLeaf planting event at Price Middle School in Atlanta. Credit: Melinda Housholder/American Forests

Project Description:
This project is looking at the urban forest around schools to calculate the health benefits for students. Additional advantages of urban forests around schools include reductions in energy use by school buildings, carbon storage and sequestration, water quality improvements and the structural value of the urban forest. The results are providing a baseline to help further efforts to create healthier school environments for youth around the city. With changing climates, it is especially important to better understand the role our urban forests play in areas where our children spend such a large percentage of their time. Restoration activities around the schools are being planned based on the results of this assessment.

Price Middle School students plant a tree as part of a Community ReLeaf project in Atlanta.

Price Middle School students plant a tree as part of a Community ReLeaf project in Atlanta. Credit: Melinda Housholder/American Forests

Key Findings:

  • Trees and other greenery help reduce symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD, in children, as well as reduce stress levels.
  • Trees properly placed around the building can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and save up to eight percent in energy used for heating.
  • Research has shown that children who can easily reach a green space have less stress and a lower body mass.
  • Urban trees in the lower U.S. remove approximately 784,000 tons of air pollution annually, with a value of $3.8 billion.
  • Strategic plantings of trees and shrubs can reduce noise considerably. Tall, dense trees with soft ground surfaces can reduce noise by 50 percent or more.

Tree Planting Event:
On October 24, American Forests and local partner Trees Atlanta were joined by volunteers from Bank of America and students to plant trees at Price Middle School in Atlanta. Learn more here.

How to Support the Urban Forest:
In 2014, we will be adding advocacy tools and other ways that you can encourage the care and maintenance of Atlanta’s urban forest. In the meantime, connect with our local partner or read our case study of Atlanta for more information on the city’s urban forest: