If this heat wave had you ducking from the sun, you may have a new appreciation for how shady your neighborhood is — or isn’t.
A leafy tree canopy can keep temperatures cooler by nearly 10 degrees compared to nearby paved areas. And trees have other benefits, too: keeping the air cleaner, raising property values and even reducing crime.
But not all neighborhoods are equal when it comes to trees. A new report from the nonprofit American Forests finds that neighborhoods with more low-income households and people of color tend to have fewer trees.
Achieving tree equity has become more important in the context of climate change, and it’s become a bigger challenge as cities cut down thousands of ash trees sickened by the emerald ash borer.
Host Angela Davis talks to a professor of urban forestry and a community tree advocate about why we should pay more attention to our trees and how to get them into areas that need them most.
Eric North is an assistant professor of urban and community forestry in the Department of Forest Resources at the University of Minnesota.
Karen Zumach is director of community forestry at Tree Trust, a Twin Cities nonprofit that works to grow the urban forest and jobs in natural resources. She also serves as the president of the Minnesota Shade Tree Advisory Committee.
Your support matters.
You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.