American Forests is committed to building vibrant cities through urban forests and greenspace. From ensuring equitable distribution of tree canopy to creating much-needed tree care industry jobs, we are working with our diverse group of partners to help bring equity to communities across the US to make sure all people in cities and towns receive the benefits that trees provide.
We accomplish this goal by building cities’ capacity to grow and maintain their tree canopy. In partnership with city leaders and community groups, we develop science-based action plans, advocate for and fund urban forestry in innovative ways, implement high-impact planting projects, and build public awareness.
Trees and forests are vital to life on Earth — but especially in our cities. Sometimes overlooked as just scenery, urban trees are the green lungs of our cities, intercept and filter rainfall for clean urban waters, and keep cities 5° to 7° cooler on hot summer days.
Trees also play subtler but equally important roles in creating healthy people and prosperous cities. Numerous studies have demonstrated that urban trees improve mental health, increase student performance and build stronger community ties. Planting and caring for urban trees can even be a powerful tool to create job opportunities for unemployed and underemployed people.
In addition to this place-based work, the Community ReLeaf program is helping foster a national movement by creating tools that everyone can use, like Vibrant Cities Lab, a free resource that curates the latest research, best practices and technical expertise in urban forestry. We are also leading public policy, in partnership with the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition, to assure continued federal investment in urban forests through programs like the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.
With so many benefits, it is important that all people in cities have access to trees. Unfortunately, this is far from reality. Many people, primarily in underserved neighborhoods, live in areas with few trees. Our Community ReLeaf program is dedicated to fixing this problem.