We work hard to raise public awareness about the value and importance of trees. Some people may consider trees a nuisance because they have to rake leaves and clean up acorns. However, they may not realize our urban forest provides a myriad of social, economic, and environmental benefits.
Urban forests promote both physical health, through recreation space and reduced rates of asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as mental health benefits such as stress reduction, a greater sense of safety (reduced crime rates) and community. They also improve air quality and water filtration, as well as reduce temperatures, making cities more liveable. Urban tree cover also provides habitat for wildlife and promotes biodiversity. Availability of urban forests can also increase property values and improve visitor perceptions of business districts. Finally, depending on the city, urban forests add between $1.88 and $12.70 in value for every dollar spent on maintenance. With all the positive evidence in favour of urban forests, a few minor annoyances doesn’t seem like much!