Trees for a Healthy Community and Economy
City and County of Broomfield, Colorado
This unique urban forestry project seeks to improve environmental health and economic development opportunities within the City and County of Broomfield’s expanding city center. The IES Design Team has developed a strategic landscape plan with economic and environmental improvement targets that will contribute to commercial growth, strengthen the community, and create a healthier environment. The landscape plan features sustainable landscape design practices and incorporates principles from the Sustainable Sites Initiative (www.sustainablesites.org). On April 14, 2012, the Broomfield community gathered to plant trees, making Broomfield a more desirable place to live and work.
Please take our Survey!
IES is conducting a community survey to measure the potential economic impact urban forestry will have on Broomfield. Click here to take the survey
The Institute for Environmental Solutions thanks our generous sponsors and project partners:
- City and County of Broomfield
- Xcel Energy
- North Metro Fire Rescue District
- Colorado State Forest Service
- Rocky Mountain Tire and Auto
- Green Energy Man, Inc.
- Western Disposal
- Broomfield Community Foundation
JOIN US AS A SPONSOR FOR FUTURE STRATEGIC COMMUNITY FORESTRY PROGRAMS!
IES encourages support and involvement from businesses, individuals, and community organizations interested in improving our environment and economic strength. Contributions will help plant more trees, increase economic benefits of urban forestry, strengthen our community, improve environmental health, and make Colorado a better place to live and work.
Sponsor trees! Sponsorships for trees begin at $2,500, which includes the cost of purchasing, planting, and caring for five trees.
Teach the community! Educational displays will show the benefits of community forestry. A permanent educational plaque can feature your logos at one of our community planting sites ($2,500).
Sponsor an event! Community volunteer tree-planting events take place one or more times a year depending on need and support. Please contact IES to find out how you can bring strategic urban forestry to your community. Event day t-shirts for volunteers ($1,500), planting supplies and materials ($1,500), materials for interactive educational tables ($1,500), and breakfast and lunch for volunteers will make this day a success.
Support cutting-edge research on the economic benefits of trees! Economic evaluation surveys provide invaluable insight for communities and businesses. Surveys measure the economic impact of urban forestry by identifying place perception and how trees can affect the aesthetic quality of a shopping area, consumer behavior, and product pricing. IES is seeking financial support to conduct the “Trees for a Healthy Community and Economy” Economic Evaluation.
Project sponsors are featured in press releases, news articles, the IES website, the IES quarterly e-newsletter, social media, and partner publications. Top sponsors will be recognized on permanent educational displays at a planting site. Community volunteer planting events highlight the programs goals and sponsors using informational materials, sponsor-branded volunteer gifts, and media releases.
Contributions are tax deductible and will help make Trees for a Healthy Community and Economy a success. Donations can be made by credit card at www.givingfirst.org/i4es.
IES Project Manager
Benefits of Urban Forestry
The Economic Benefits of Trees
Trees Make Cents! Did you know that trees are good for business? The benefits of urban trees are as numerous and far-reaching as their roots, and these benefits grow over time. Strategically planted and properly maintained, trees can generate returns up to three times their planting and maintenance costs. Trees contribute to commercial growth, stronger communities, and a healthy environment. Not only do trees mean business, they make sense.
Public Opinion: Studies show that consumers prefer to shop in business districts with tree-lined streets and sidewalks. Just as music and lighting, trees located near businesses improve shoppers’ imagery, comfort, and appeal of a place. Tree-lined business districts can even incite the perception of higher product quality and value.
Increased Consumer Patronage: Research shows that consumers will travel farther and more frequently to shop in business districts with trees. They are willing to spend more time and pay more money (up to 12%) for all categories of goods, including shaded parking. (naturewithin.org)
Increased Commercial Property Value: Landscaping increases the value and enhances the sales appeal of commercial real estate. Commercial areas with trees have higher occupancy and lease rates than identical properties lacking such natural amenities.
Reduced Energy Costs: Depending on species and planting location, trees can reduce building energy use and associated costs by acting as both natural air conditioners and insulators. During the summer months, trees can lower peak air temperatures 2-9 °F by releasing water through their leaves and shading surfaces. A single large tree can cool an area as effectively as ten room-size air conditioners operating all day. During the winter, trees can lower heating costs by providing a natural windbreak.
The Social Benefits of Trees
Increased Social Ties: Trees are an important part of any residential outdoor space. By drawing people out of their homes, trees create an opportunity for neighbors to interact and develop community relationships.
Improved Mental Health: Urban environments can contribute to mental fatigue and stress. Including trees in urban areas can create a restorative and peaceful environment that helps people recover from stress and fatigue.
Increased Perceptions of Safety: In studies conducted by Sullivan and Kuo in 2001, people living in inner city neighborhoods gave the highest safety ratings to areas that were densely planted. In addition, people living near trees reported feeling safer than those living in more stark surroundings. Research suggests that people feel safer as a result of increased activity in green outdoor spaces, which deters crime.
Improved worker productivity: Studies suggest that time spent in natural environments may reduce mental fatigue and improve a person’s mood and their capacity to function. Once a person returns to work, they are able to concentrate better on the task at hand. A person feels more alert and optimistic.
The Environmental Benefits of Trees
Trees temper the effects of weather conditions: Trees absorb solar radiation, providing cooler cover for living organisms. Tree species with dense foliage, such as certain evergreens, are particularly useful at easing strong winds when planted strategically. Additionally, trees collect storm water, which reduces the effects of runoff and the chance of flooding from severe rainstorms.
Trees moderate the local climate: The outdoor temperature is cooler near trees, which release water vapor into the air and provide shade. Trees mitigate the urban phenomenon known as the heat-island effect – a term used to describe elevated temperatures in cities resulting from the abundance of heat-retaining surfaces, such as concrete and asphalt, and a lack of vegetation. The process of releasing water vapor has been found to reduce peak summer temperatures from 2° to 9°F.
Trees improve air quality: The bark and leaves of trees absorb several air pollutants, including ozone (O3), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). In addition to absorbing pollutants, leaves filter dust and other particulate matter from the air. The capture of CO2 is of particular importance, because it is a significant driver of global climate change. In one year, an acre of mature trees can absorb the equivalent amount of CO2 emitted from driving 26,000 miles. The gross amount of carbon captured by trees in Golden, Colorado is about 637 metric tons annually, with an associated value of $14,500. While filtering pollutants from the air, trees also emit oxygen that sustains life. However, trees are also responsible for emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contribute, albeit minimally, to street-level ozone (smog). The emission of VOCs varies depending on the species of the tree planted. Although trees minimally contribute to ozone formation, an increase in tree cover generally results in an overall decrease in smog.
Trees reduce noise pollution: Unwanted noise can lead to stress and worker productivity loss. Strategically planted trees can act as noise buffers, reducing noise by five to ten decibels (approximately 50% to the human ear).
Trees improve water quality and reduce soil erosion: Trees assist in recharging the supply of groundwater by reducing evaporative loss, and improve water quality by collecting chemicals and pollutants on the surface of their leaves. Root systems beneath trees hold soil in place and slow the effects of storm flash events. Trees break the impact of rainfall, allowing the ground below to absorb precipitation more gradually, while preventing severe soil erosion caused by runoff.
Trees help conserve energy: Strategically placed trees can reduce the energy needed to heat and cool buildings, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions and financial costs. Estimates of potential energy savings range from 7% to 40%, depending on the site placement, trees’ shape and density, and the species of the tree planted. Reducing energy demand also reduces the pollutants generated by the utility plants producing electricity.
Trees provide an essential habitat for wildlife: Trees house an abundance of life, and they are critical to the reproduction cycles of many species. Trees supply wildlife with protective cover from the elements and provide nesting materials for various species.
Trees can provide forage: Fruit and nuts that can nourish humans and animals. Apples, chestnuts, oranges and peaches are just a few favorites that have become staples in the diets of many.