New Data Sharpens Arbor Day Foundation’s Urban Tree Planting Efforts
The nonprofit uses the information to identify neighborhoods in need of trees
“We’re always looking to leverage the latest data and technology to guide our approach to tree planting in cities and neighborhoods,” said Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation chief executive. “This update from NatureQuant heightens our precision as we develop high-impact projects and improve the health of people in underserved communities.”
The recent update from NatureQuant includes an updated Nature Priority Index (NPI) score for each U.S. census tract. The NPI score is an aggregate of socioeconomic data and information on how much nature and tree canopy currently exist in the area. The Arbor Day Foundation uses this information to identify where trees can make the most impact in urban areas. The census boundaries in this update now reflect 2020 data, the latest census information available, which includes about 11,000 more tracts.
The Arbor Day Foundation is working to plant 500 million new trees by 2027, with a focus on forests and neighborhoods of greatest need. Research shows that people living in urban areas with a high tree canopy are often mentally and physically healthier than those in low-canopy areas. Urban and community trees also help protect people from life-threatening heat, filter air pollution, improve property values and reduce traffic noise.
In its most recent fiscal year, the Arbor Day Foundation helped to plant and distribute more than 630,000 community trees worldwide, representing a 23% increase. The Foundation expects to continue to see an upward trend in community tree plantings following the historic $1.5 billion investment from the Inflation Reduction Act. The funding is devoted to creating equitable access to trees in cities and neighborhoods around the country.
About the Arbor Day Foundation
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation is the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. Together with our partners, we have helped plant more than 500 million trees in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to lead toward a world where trees are used to solve issues critical to survival. Through our members, partners and programs, the Arbor Day Foundation inspires people across the globe to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information is available at arborday.org.
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