Urban & Community Forests

Urban Forests

The urban forest is the tree canopy cover above every neighborhood, town, and city in America. Trees of all shapes and sizes make up the “green infrastructure” of our communities, and provide environmental, social and economic solutions to more than 80% of the population of the United States. Rigorous research demonstrates that urban trees can help solve many pressing national and community issues. The federal government has a strong incentive to nurture our urban and community forests to safeguard their continued contributions to the health, safety, energy security and quality of life of the nation’s citizens.

National Bodies
The Vibrant Cities &Urban Forests Task Force is leading a nationwide initiative to promote and improve urban forests and green infrastructure in our nation’s cities and municipalities. Two state foresters participated on the Task Force, a national body of 25 visionary and respected municipal and state officials, national and local non-profit leaders, researchers, urban planners, and foundation and industry representatives. The group has delivered a set of recommendations and action steps that can improve our cities over the next decade and beyond.

NASF also participates in the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition, an alliance of foresters, arborists, city planners, non-profit leaders and others who work together to advance policies that develop the capacity for long-term management of urban forests, trees and green space. The SUFC’s advocates a Farm Bill that will encourage and facilitate interagency coordination to protect urban forest health; address issues at the landscape level and promote urban trees and forests as green infrastructure; and support local initiatives to and maximize impacts for every dollar invested.

Federal Program
Since its expansion under the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1990 (CFAA), the Forest Service’s Urban & Community Forestry (U&CF) program has provided technical and financial assistance to promote stewardship of urban forests in communities of all sizes across the country. The program is delivered in close partnership with State Foresters and leverages existing local efforts that have helped thousands of communities and towns manage, maintain, and improve their tree cover and green spaces.

Tree City USA
NASF partners with the Arbor Day Foundation on the long-standing Tree City USA program, which helps America’s communities enhance the extent and health of their urban forests. The Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with NASF members, administers an array of complementary programs, such as Tree Line USA and Tree Campus USA, designed to further advance urban forestry programs nationwide.

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