Trees are a vital part of our natural world and our health, economy, and culture, and healthy forests are critical infrastructure for communities. Robust urban tree canopies can sequester carbon, provide habitat and food for wildlife, improve shade and cooling effects, and manage stormwater flooding (and reduce the urban heat island effect and air conditioning, thereby lowering GHG emissions associated with building energy use). According to research by nonprofit Casey Trees, “people are willing to travel farther, visit more frequently, and pay more for goods and services in business districts with trees—on average 12 percent more.”
The National Wildlife Federation partnered with King County, Washington, to help develop an online tool for landowners, called Urban and Community Forestry CPR—Climate Preparedness and Response (CPR). Using CPR, landowners can view land and forest characteristics of their own property using a Geographic Information System (GIS) tool. They can also receive customized forestland management recommendations by taking an online survey.
The National Wildlife Federation has produced a variety of materials based on the Forestry CPR tool that can be used by local governments, organizations, and citizens looking to address climate change.
Growing Greener: Eco-Structure for Climate Resilience (Guidebook): The National Wildlife Federation has developed this guide to encourage cities and towns to recognize trees as critical, functional infrastructure that is just as important as buildings and roads. We know that trees can survive and thrive in urban areas, while benefiting the humans that live there—we just need to place a premium on our trees and other green infrastructure and envision a greener, healthier future. The guide includes the following set of recommendations:
Climate-smart actions to protect and enhance the health of the urban forest:
Download the full guide or individual chapters below:
The Urban and Community Forestry Climate Preparedness and Response program is funded in partnership between King County, the National Wildlife Federation, and the USDA Forest Service, Urban & Community Forestry Program. The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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