Urban Forestry Funding, Why Now?
The federal government is contributing 1.5 billion …with a B… to urban forests, and states, cities, and the private sector are heaping on additional contributions too. Not to look this gift horse in the mouth, but urban foresters have advocated for better urban forestry funding for years. What changed?
The science on trees’ benefits to our societies and the climate has been around a while. That’s not new. As Ian Hanou pointed out in Episode 1, it’s social impacts of urban forests that have grabbed the spotlight and tipped the scales. A major contributor to this movement is American Forests’ Tree Equity Score (TES), which has conceptualized the impacts of unbalanced tree canopy better than ever before.
As Jad explained, this was very much by design. TES was crafted to name and reframe the problem of unevenly distributed trees in our cities. This concept had long been studied, but reports were usually localized to the neighborhood or city being researched. The universal scale of the problem wasn’t shining through.