Why Trees Matter


Why do trees matter so much anyway? Why do we plant them? And if you have ever heard the term, urban tree canopy? What does UTC even mean?

Let’s start with the tree canopy:

From urbantreecover.org we learn that the Canopy is “the layer of leaves, branches, and stems of trees that cover the ground when viewed from above.”

The target goal for every neighborhood and street in Grand Rapids is 30%. This is where the benefits of trees-improved mental and physical health of residents and street users, decreased utility costs, lower rates of crime and speeding, improved environmental resilience and stormwater management, and a significant decrease in heat islands, all really begin to take effect. This is all part of the 3-30-300 rule which is helping to drive municipal action for forests and parks.

For us to get there in Grand Rapids, however, we need to really ramp up our tree plantings-which is part of what Neighborwoods is all about!

For more on why trees matter, a recent poll showed that 75% of us say that time in trees (or with dogs!) is what makes us happy!

Dive Deeper with the Podcast and Book of the Month:

Podcast of the Month: The Infinite Monkey Cage, with Dr. Suzanne Simard discussing the life of trees!
Book of the Month: Finding the Mother Tree, from Dr. Suzanne Simard, is a fascinating deep dive into both her life and the science discussed on the podcast.

No matter what, we hope to see you sometime this fall playing with trees or in our parks!