By Emily Barber, Marketing Manager
On December 1, 2018, American Forests traveled to the city of Shoreline, Washington, a city just north of Seattle. Like most American Forests plantings, the day brought community members and local volunteers together to plant trees in an area of need. However, this planting was unique – it was the first project where the trees planted would earn carbon credits.
City Forest Credits is a Seattle-based nonprofit helping to fund urban forests through carbon credits, bringing the environmental benefits of trees to cities across America. Projects can sell these credits to local or national companies, thus generating new, private-sector funding to help keep our cities green, healthy and equitable. Mark McPherson, Executive Director, attended the Shoreline planting, getting his hands dirty and helping to explain the partnership between City Forest Credits and American Forests.
The planting took place at the Ballinger Open Space site, where Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust had previously cleared invasive species. With 200 new trees planted and a longer term plan for 2,000 trees, the Ballinger Open Space site is projected to deliver the following quantified benefits over the next fifty years:
- Storage of up to 1,000 metric tons of CO2
- Reduction of over 62 million liters of storm water (rain fall interception), at a savings of approximately $455,000
- Energy savings (heating and cooling) of $73,000
- Improvements in air quality valued at over $5,000
- Total dollar benefits over 50 years valued at $533,000
By working with City Forest Credits, the Greenway Trust will leverage the initial sale of credits to pay for maintenance and monitoring of the trees on the site.
In addition to partnering with City Forest Credits, American Forests also worked with Bank of America to fund the planting, adding another city to the list that Bank of America has supported since joining forces with American Forests in 2013.
This planting will create countless benefits for the environment, but it also made a difference for Shoreline community members. Kerri Schroeder, Seattle market president for Bank of America, said, “As part of our commitment to responsible growth, Bank of America is demonstrating the power to make a difference in our communities by putting financial and human capital into innovative, cross-sector partnerships that help communities be more climate resilient and enhance green spaces for people to enjoy. We are proud to support our partners in this Carbon+ Credits pilot program because it is creating financial incentives to solve environmental problems right in our own backyard.”