Expanding Urban Tree Canopy

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Our Community ReLeaf program aims to bring national attention to the value of our urban forests and reaches geographically distributed and culturally diverse communities across the United States.

Detroit

Detroit is uniquely positioned to redefine what it means to be a green city in the 21st century. American Forests is working with a diverse group of stakeholders to prioritize tree canopy citywide, convert vacant land to vibrant greenspace, and create jobs opportunities to underemployed and unemployed people.

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Miami

With climate change posing a constant, imminent threat to many communities in Greater Miami, American Forests is working with local partners to boost resiliency through science-based planning, reforestation and innovative funding, with the goal of helping Miami-Dade County achieve its objective of planting one million trees.

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Houston

As the 4th-largest U.S. city — and one of the fastest-growing — Houston has rapidly expanded concrete and other impervious surfaces, making its residents more vulnerable to extreme weather and temperatures, To help rebuild the city’s tree canopy and ensure it is more equitable and resilient, American Forests and local partners have created and begun implementing a regional framework to inform reforestation activities across the metropolitan area.

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Other Project Cities

Great Lakes

Chicago

American Forests is helping Chicago Region Trees Initiative restore and grow a healthy tree canopy in the Chicagoland region. Beginning with a 10-county tree canopy assessment, we are planting trees in communities of need throughout the metro area.

Explore the Chicago region’s urban tree canopy assessment

Cleveland

We launched implementation of the Cleveland Tree Plan by conducting an inventory and piloting comprehensive street tree care in two underserved neighborhoods, Cudell and Buckeye-Shaker Square. This demonstration project is being used to advocate for increased investment in Cleveland’s tree canopy.

Explore the neighborhood tree inventories

Columbus

In support of the city’s BranchOut Columbus initiative, American Forests helped create the first of a proposed five community tree nurseries on vacant land in the Weinland Park neighborhood. These trees are being replanted in the surrounding neighborhoods to help the city reach its goal of planting 300,000 trees and increasing the tree canopy by five percent.

Northeast

Asbury Park

Our work in Asbury Park focused on assessing the city’s tree canopy after Superstorm Sandy and adapting the one square mile city’s urban forest to better handle major storms.

View Asbury Park’s assessment report

Baltimore

More wood comes out of urban forests than our national forests, yet most of it goes to the landfill. To model a way to change that in Baltimore, American Forests is helping the Baltimore Wood Project develop a market for more than 200,000 trees expected to be removed due to emerald ash borer infestation. We began by purchasing sawmill equipment for the city so it can create wood products that sequester carbon, create jobs and help fund additional tree planting.

Explore the Baltimore Wood Project

Boston

American Forests is helping local partners incubate a new nonprofit organization, helping create data, plans, advocacy capacity, and planting projects that improve the health of and support for urban forests in the metro area.

View a recap of our project in the Dorchester neighborhood

Hartford

With a poverty rate over 30 percent in Hartford, American Forests developed a citywide tree canopy analysis and helped plant over 600 trees in underserved neighborhoods to address respiratory illness issues in underserved populations.

View Hartford’s assessment report

Washington, D.C.

Our work in the nation’s capital has focused on innovative ways to engage economically disenfranchised populations. We helped turn a three-acre vacant lot into a public greenspace that includes performance stages, a fitness track, art installations and an urban research farm. We are also creating career pathways for low income residents in community engagement and green infrastructure.

See 1,000 volunteers bring the East Capitol Urban Farm to life

Southeast

Atlanta

Our work in Atlanta began by addressing respiratory health, income and other factors in school zones. It continues in partnership with Biohabitats and others as we develop a comprehensive Urban Ecology Framework for the city.

View Atlanta’s assessment report

Learn more about Atlanta’s Urban Ecology Framework

Nashville

With East Nashville undergoing major revitalization, we conducted an in-depth tree canopy assessment of more than 11,000 street trees in the community and planted hundreds more in a park and at nearby residences.

View East Nashville’s assessment report

Southwest

Austin

For a city with such high urban forestry capacity, we partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to develop a community survey to better understand residents’ relationship with their urban forest. We also helped local partners install Texas’s first food forest, which includes a variety of fruit and nut trees on park, school, and residential properties near the Colorado River.

Visit the Festival Beach Food Forest

Dallas

We helped develop an urban heat island study that is guiding a robust partnership aimed at restoring tree canopy and establishing a culture of sustainability in one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the country, with planting efforts focused in a high-need area of downtown.

View the Dallas Urban Heat Island Study

Tempe / Phoenix

Our first desert city, American Forests has worked with local and academic partners to implement and analyze strategic “cooling zone” tree plantings that support Tempe’s plan to become a walkable, bikeable city by 2040.

Learn more about the role of urban forests in desert cities

West

Los Angeles / Pasadena

From assessing Pasadena’s air quality benefits and replanting after a major windstorm, to helping create a park in downtown Los Angeles, we are strategically helping local partners rebuild Los Angeles as a sustainable, healthy city.

View Pasadena’s assessment report

View the Los Angeles State Historic Park planting project

San Francisco / Oakland

The Bay Area is a story of dichotomy, told in its tree canopy as much as its economy. Our analysis of Oakland presents a strong relationship between tree canopy and socioeconomic conditions, leading to restoration efforts in areas of greatest need. In San Francisco, we are partnering with the Global Climate Action Summit and local partners to highlight the role of urban forests in climate adaptation, mitigation and equity.

View Oakland’s assessment report

View a park improvement project in San Francisco

Discover the correlation between tree canopy and socioeconomics in Oakland

Seattle

American Forests is helping develop a tree canopy assessment and action plan for the central Puget Sound, as well as piloting an innovative new urban forestry funding mechanism called City Forest Credits, to remove invasive species and plant new trees in the suburb of Shoreline, Washington.

Explore City Forest Credits