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POLICY 14

Tree Canopy and Urban Forest: Improve the tree canopy and urban forest.

Tree canopy in residential neighborhood
Midtown Greenway Promenade
Urban Tree Canopy

The tree canopy in Minneapolis is an asset for its aesthetic value as well as ecological and environmental benefits. According to research done by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, trees on public property save each Minneapolis taxpayer approximately $100 a year. Trees soak up rain water, meaning less runoff to rivers and creeks, which in turn results in cleaner drinking water, better wildlife habitat, and a healthier ecosystem. Trees on public property process 200 million gallons of water annually, resulting in a $5.9M savings in storm water management costs. They provide $5.8 million in energy savings through providing shade in summer to keep buildings cool, and blocking wind in winter to keep buildings warm. This savings is equivalent to the energy needs of 4,350 homes annually.  Additionally, they absorb and hold 92 million pounds of carbon from the atmosphere each year. This is the equivalent of taking 8,936 cars off the road. And they remove the equivalent of 333,000 pounds of harmful particulates in the air, improving air quality.

Maintaining the health of the City’s trees and increasing the City’s tree canopy makes Minneapolis a healthier place for all its residents.

ACTION STEPS

The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to improve the tree canopy and urban forest.

  1. Develop and implement City Strategy to increase canopy which should explore an expansion of funding, incentives to plant and retain and promote species diversity
  2. Provide education and training on tree care for private landowners.
  3. Ensure healthy tree planting in the right of way by increasing growing space and its quality and siting and relocating utilities to avoid conflicts.
  4. In new developments and additions to existing buildings, retain mature trees, replace lost trees, and plant more trees if none were there originally.
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