Why are urban forests important?
The 2020 census reported that nearly 83.6 % of Americans now live in urban centers, up from 81 % just 10 years earlier. Over this same time frame, urban populations grew by more than 13 %, outpacing the national growth average of just 9.7%. It is clear that we are becoming a more urbanized nation. Because of these growth patterns, urban forests are more important than ever- they are the trees outside our front doors. They are dynamic ecosystems that provide critical benefits to people and wildlife. Urban forests help to filter air and water, control storm water, conserve energy, and provide animal habitat and shade. They add beauty, form, and structure to urban design. By reducing noise and providing places to recreate, urban forests strengthen social cohesion, spur community revitalization, and add economic value to our communities.
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