Newly expanded Tree Equity Score tool now provides tree canopy data for 260 million people – nearly 80% of the U.S. population
Click to Tweet: New data available on @americanforests’ Tree Equity Score now covers every urban area in the US to help address #TreeEquity! Learn more: www.TreeEquityScore.org
Washington, DC – American Forests, the first national nonprofit conservation organization in the U.S., unveiled the next generation of its free Tree Equity Score tool, now covering over 200,000 neighborhoods and over 260 million people across every urban area in the U.S.
Tree Equity Score aims to help address a stark reality: that a map of tree cover in cities often mirrors a map of income and race. First launched by American Forests in 2021, the free, interactive tool is a breakthrough in democratized data, allowing communities to learn more about the inequitable distribution of tree cover in their neighborhoods that often leads to disadvantaged communities experiencing disproportionately negative health and economic impacts exacerbated by climate change.
“Tree Equity aims to address the dangerous and systemic inequities of tree cover in our communities by prioritizing planting trees in the areas that need them most,” said Jad Daley, president and chief executive officer of American Forests. “Tree Equity not only has real-life social, health, economic and equity outcomes but also brings green jobs and increased community resilience.”
A critical component of American Forests’ efforts to advance Tree Equity in 100 cities by 2030, the updated tool integrates data on current tree cover, socioeconomic status, heat and other relevant factors to assess if cities, towns and urban areas have sufficient tree canopy to deliver maximum health, economic and climate benefits. American Forests prioritizes supporting under-resourced communities with cutting-edge tools and resources. By providing a data-driven foundation and a tool that individuals can easily use, the score enables residents to work hand-in-hand with their neighbors to advocate for strategic tree planting initiatives that reduce the impacts of climate change to human health and the environment in areas with the greatest need.
The Tree Equity Score tool updates launched alongside American Forests’ new documentary, “Mapping the Path to Tree Equity.” The five-minute film highlights the tremendous impact the Tree Equity Score tool has made in providing urban communities with the information needed to get healthy trees to those who need them most, and how the next generation of the Tree Equity Score tool can drive even greater positive change across communities.
Additional changes to the next generation of the Tree Equity Score tool include:
- Extended coverage to all urban areas in the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska
- Google’s nationwide high-resolution tree canopy data
- A new heat disparity dataset measuring extreme heat using Landsat surface temperature
- New 2020 Census boundaries and American Community Survey data
- Updated map interface to help users explore patterns in the data
- User-friendly updates for dynamic reports to help you find out what it takes to raise Tree Equity Scores. Reports are available for every locality, county, congressional district and state. New, full-function search bar to better locate addresses and places
“The next generation of the Tree Equity Score tool will provide the most data-driven and comprehensive look at environmental inequalities in cities across the U.S., so that we can all work together to help get trees where they’re needed now,” Daley said.
To check the Tree Equity score in your neighborhood, visit TreeEquityScore.org.
ABOUT AMERICAN FORESTS: American Forests is the first national nonprofit conservation organization created in the U.S. Since its founding in 1875, the organization has been the pathfinders for the forest conservation movement. Its mission is to create healthy and resilient forests, from cities to large natural landscapes, that deliver essential benefits for climate, people, water and wildlife. The organization advances its mission through forestry, innovation, place-based partnerships to plant and restore forests, and movement building. For more information visit: www.americanforests.org.