About My Tree—Our Forest® | Key Insights & Statistics | Media Kit | Media Contact
Trees and forests are vital green infrastructure in communities throughout the United States—America's natural capital.
Green infrastructure acts as a buffer to ease the workload of grey infrastructure. The urban canopy, the trees that sit above our streets, bolster local economies, improve human health, and bring communities closer together. Community forests support economics, public safety, human health, stormwater management systems and more!
Healthy urban canopies do not happen by chance and require investments of dollars, time and expertise. State forestry agencies and their partners including the USDA Forest Service are dedicated to working together to achieve national-level conservation and economic goals that are outlined in the state strategies and assessments, collectively referred to as the Forest Action Plans.
Urban and community forestry programs offer communities educational, financial and technical assistance. The My Tree—Our Forest® educational materials help communities and state agencies educate residents about the importance of our urban canopies.
Urban and community forests provide essential benefits we cannot live without. My Tree—Our Forest, an educational campaign by the National Association of State Foresters, aims to support these critical landscapes by educating the public about tree benefits and those who protect them.
A healthy urban forest is the result of proper planning, management, and community investment. Communities all over the United States are working with their state forestry agency and other local partners to receive technical assistance and training.
Since its launch in 2015, My Tree—Our Forest has helped state forestry agencies achieve national priorities for America's forests as identified in their Forest Action Plans. The creation of the My Tree—Our Forest brand was made possible with support from the NASF Foundation and through collaboration with members of the NASF Urban and Community Forestry and Communications Committees as well as several highly engaged and generous state urban coordinators.
With My Tree—Our Forest educational content and materials, citizens can conduct outreach about the benefits that healthy trees offer to communities and the role that state forestry agencies play in protecting these resource. Purchase materials such as the best-selling oversized “tree tags”, tote bags, and can coolers to build awareness of the value of trees in your community at www.stateforesters.org/store.
The presence of trees may positively influence consumer responses and behaviors. One national study found that judgments of products and merchants by respondents were more positive in forested places as were inferences about product value, product quality, and merchant responsiveness.
Neighborhoods with urban greenery that still allows for visibility may be safer than those with no vegetation. In urban low-income housing, buildings surrounded by high levels of vegetation have 52 percent fewer total crimes and 56 percent fewer violent crimes than buildings with little vegetation.
Additionally, trees can are used as part of community speed-reduction strategies, keeping pedestrians out of harms’ way. For example, center islands with greenery are shown to reduce driver speeds up to seven percent. In addition, improvements to greenery and other landscape features along a highway have been shown to reduce the crash rate by 46 percent.
Improved Human Health
Urban and community trees absorb many of the toxins that cause health problems like asthma. There are 1.9 million trees in the District of Columbia tree canopy. Those trees increase air quality by removing harmful chemicals. Notably, 490 metric tons/year of air pollution such as ozone and sulfur dioxide are removed with a value of $3.7 million. This reduction in pollution has a direct impact on health.
Studies show that an increase of 343 trees per square kilometer in New York City cleans the air enough to show a 24 percent decrease in childhood asthma rates. In densely urbanized areas of San Juan, Puerto Rico, more than 60 percent of residents consumed food grown in their yards, improving nutrition and supplementing income.
Urban and community tree canopies provide a barrier between precipitation and the street. By absorbing and evaporating precipitation, trees prevent sewage systems from overflowing. A 2007 study by the USDA Forest Service found that the street trees in New York City intercept 890.6 million gallons of water before it hits the streets, greatly reducing strain on the city’s drainage systems. The value of this service to New York is estimated to be $35.6 million, or an average of $61 in public benefits per tree.
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- Investing in community forestry is good for jobs and communities. Visit www.mytreeourforest.org to learn more #mytreeourforest
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- #Treesarekey to healthier and safer communities! Learn more at tfsweb.tamu.edu/treesarekey.
NASF Communications Director