Two of the nation’s best urban forests are right here in the Pacific Northwest

Healthy Urban ForestLocal people have always known that Seattle and Portland have beautiful, healthy trees, so it was no surprise to see that American Forests has named these cities as two of the ten best U.S. cities for urban forests.

American Forests, the oldest national, nonprofit, conservation organization in the country, advocates for the protection and expansion of America’s forests.

The organization announced its list for the ten best U.S. cities for urban forests:  Austin, Charlotte, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Portland, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Through a U.S. Forest Service-funded project, American Forests found that these ten cities showed great investment in their urban forests from the city management level down to community volunteers.

Seattle City Arborist, Nolan Rundquist, says it’s great to be included. Seattle is working on updating its urban forest plan with a goal of increasing the canopy so it will cover 30 percent of the city by 2037. 

American Forests took on this project to help people (and city leaders) better understand the critical value of urban forests in their cities — to their own lives, health, economies and well-being of their communities, and to, therefore, invest in their urban forests. Proactive individuals are key to maintaining urban forests. These people recognize that trees around them are not just pretty shade providers, but are essential elements of the natural fabric of the planet that we depend upon for survival.

Not only did the project find that these cities are committed to maintaining the health of their urban forests, but that they also recognize the full range of benefits they provide from driving tourism revenue to lowered heating and cooling costs. This project showcases the many values that forests and trees bring to an urban environment.

To learn more about the 10 best cities for urban forests, visit American Forests’ website at http://www.americanforests.org/10bestcities.

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