This week, through a combination of an in-depth survey, independent data and a vote by a blue-ribbon panel of leading urban forest experts, nonprofit organization American Forests named the 10 best U.S. cities for urban forests: Austin, Charlotte, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Portland, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
“These 10 cities are examples of the type of dedication and leadership needed to improve the health and vitality of urban forests in some of the largest cities in the U.S.,” says Scott Steen, American Forests CEO.
American Forests defines urban forests as “ecosystems of trees and other vegetation in and around communities that may consist of street and yard trees, vegetation within parks and along public rights of way and water systems. Urban forests provide communities with environmental, economic and social benefits and habitat for fish and wildlife.”
District of Columbia State Forester Monica Lear was excited to hear that the hard work of her staff was being recognized. “The District has a long history of investing in and maintaining open space and tree canopy, with Mayor Gray’s Sustainable DC initiative setting a comprehensive path forward over the next 20 years,” she said. “It is rewarding to know that American Forests recognizes how serious our commitment is to care for our green space.”