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Learning Exchange Series: Dimensions of Urban and Community Forestry
June 7, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Assessing and Planning for Ecosystem Service Provision in Urban Forests
Urban trees provide an array of ecosystem services, including stormwater mitigation and the storage and sequestration on carbon. While provision of these services is a satisfactory benefit to the communities in which trees are planted and established, it is possible that service yield can be optimized by strategic selection and management of urban trees, in addition to sound assessment of trees that currently comprise the urban forest. In this talk, Dowtin will utilize a Michigan-based case study to review the methods that have been used to quantify ecosystem service provision by urban forests. Dowtin will also review strategies that municipalities can utilize to better prioritize sound collection of urban forest inventory data that can subsequently be used to assess and plan for optimized ecosystem service provision by the urban forest.
The USDA Forest Service, Urban and Community Forestry Program is investing a historic $1 billion to deliver equitable access to trees and the associated benefits they provide to human health, the environment, and the economy in disadvantaged cities, towns, and tribal communities across the country.
Modern technology will help ensure this funding is dispersed in areas that are most in need. The White House Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), EPA Environmental Justice and Screening Mapping Tool (EJScreen), EPA EnviroAtlas Interactive Map, Opportunity Zones), and other government sponsored vulnerability tools are mandatory in identifying at-risk and disadvantaged communities.
The funding is available to community-based organizations, tribes, municipal and state governments, nonprofit partners, universities, and other eligible entities as they work to increase tree cover in urban spaces, while bolstering their resilience to extreme heat, storm-induced flooding, and other climate impacts.