November 22, 2014

Pasadena’s Trees Provide Nearly $8.8 Million in Annual Benefits

 

American Forests plants 25 trees with local partner Pasadena Beautiful Foundation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — American Forests, a leading national conservation organization, recently delivered to Mayor Bogaard and the city council an in-depth report on Pasadena’s urban forest, which assessed the value of the benefits the trees provide to the community at more than $8.8 million and a replacement value of more than $308 million.

This study, funded by Bank of America and the U.S. Forest Service, is part of American Forests’ Community ReLeaf program, which conducts urban tree canopy assessments in targeted cities around the country to establish a scientific foundation for urban forest management, develop forest restoration projects with local partners and provide educational outreach. Working with local nonprofit Pasadena Beautiful Foundation, American Forests coordinated Bank of America staff volunteers and strategically planted 25 trees at Brookside Park. The selected species selected to help improve air quality. Pasadena Beautiful Foundation will monitor the trees to ensure their ongoing health and survival.

“Pasadena really appreciates having the support of this coalition of national and local partners working passionately to not only quantify the benefits of trees to residents of all ages but also to help ensure that our urban tree canopy continues to provide social, environmental and economic services like no other asset can,” Mayor Bogaard noted. For its report, American Forests used iTree Streets software to assess Pasadena’s tree canopy and collect sample inventory data. The results show the extent to which the street trees provide benefits by improving air quality, reducing energy use and carbon dioxide levels, improving air quality, mitigating stormwater runoff and providing a wealth of socioeconomic benefits.

“In many Southern Californian communities, air quality can be a significant concern,” said Scott Steen, president & CEO of American Forests. “Pasadena already sees trees as a valuable asset for the health and well-being of its citizens. American Forests has been pleased to partner with the city through our Community ReLeaf program, helping to augment the difference concerned citizens are already making by building their urban forest."

Pasadena’s street trees provide nearly $2 million in environmental benefits, with the largest single contributor on the list at $1.4 million,­­ is the interception and absorption of 24.7 million tons of air pollutants including ozone. Other ecosystem services provided by trees are the reduction of energy use, sequestration of carbon dioxide and the interception of more than 42 million gallons of stormwater.

“As a resident of Pasadena, I’ve seen the value trees bring to our community, particularly on hot summer days, helping to absorb carbon, but also retaining moisture and stabilizing the soil,” said Raul A. Anaya, Los Angles market president, Bank of America. “Bank of America’s commitment to environmental sustainability is grounded in the belief that a healthy environment is a cornerstone of a vibrant community. By planting urban trees and helping restore our existing urban forests we’re helping create a positive environmental impact that will benefit many generations.”

U.S Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell has called urban trees “the hardest working trees in America.” The Forest Service is active in more than 7,000 communities across the U.S., helping them to better plan and manage their urban forests. The complete urban tree canopy assessment for Pasadena is available online.

AMERICAN FORESTS

Founded in 1875, American Forests is the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country and has served as a catalyst for many of the most important milestones in the conservation movement. Learn more about our programs at americanforests.org.