Valuing the Urban Forest
The 7th Annual Urban Forest Symposium was held recently in Seattle, hosted by PlantAmnesty and the University of Washington Botanic Gardens. Their advance promotion material intrigued me to attend, “From clean water and air to healthier minds and bodies, we know that trees have significant value, but they never seem to get the credit they deserve.” I’m sure we can all agree on the value of trees at our homes, in our neighborhoods, in our cities, and not only as a professional, but also a home and land owner, the symposium presented a day of interesting topics and discussions.
We learned the best methods for quantifying the worth of our urban forests, and how to communicate that value to decision-makers and the public. The latest research was shared on stormwater benefits and tools used to quantify them. A new online portal was introduced to assist in identifying areas in cities that can have the greatest health savings through expanding tree canopy. We also discussed how to leverage the multitude of benefits to engage new supporters. The speakers came from across the State of WA and Oregon and presentations were on urban forestry, landscape management, policy, budget analysis, natural resources, tree care, arboricultural consulting, sustainability, urban planning, landscape design, landscape architecture, municipal management, and tree advocacy. I came away from a very productive day with many topics of discussion to share with my co-workers and the community. Next time you see me, ask me about the hidden value of the trees in your yard! Or better yet, invite me over for a consultation and we’ll discuss how your trees can retain their health and beauty for many years to come, giving you and your family healthier minds and bodies.