Our city trees provide valuable ecosystem services to urban and suburban citizen. Tree canopy shades and cools sidewalks and buildings, thus reducing the heat island effect and saving energy. Trees also sequester carbon dioxide, cleaning the air we breathe and improve water quality by filtering and slowing storm water runoff. Beyond that, trees just make our cities and towns more livable!
In 2009 Forest ReLeaf undertook an “urban tree canopy” (UTC) study that encompassed the entire City of St. Louis and parts of St. Louis County. We are currently seeking funding to expand this analysis to cover all of the metropolitan area. In the meantime, this white paper explains in detail the importance of UTC.
Forest ReLeaf is working collaboratively with St. Louis Regional Sustainable Communities, a comprehensive regional planning process overseen by East-West Gateway Council of Governments. As a member of the Outcomes Committee, we are promoting the use of new metrics such as UTC assessment, a useful tool for those planning for sustainable urban infrastructure. For more information about this new Regional Plan for Sustainable Development, click here.