The trees we walk by in our cities and towns provide a wide array of benefits — beauty, habitat for our animals and cleaning the air we breathe. But one benefit is often overlooked: how trees help ensure the rain from our sky does not become stormwater runoff that harms our creeks, waterways and wildlife.
The primary benefit from these urban trees is from the prevention of water pollution through reducing the amount of rain that falls directly on impervious urban surfaces, picking up pollutants and carrying them swiftly to streams, rivers and marine ecosystems. When water hits leaves instead of pavement — called interception — more of it can be detained and gradually released through evaporation and transpiration.
For the water that hits the ground, the tree canopy provides shade that reduces the temperature of the water flowing into our streams and waterways. And trees’ roots help the water infiltrate the ground. From there, soils filter out nutrients and this water flows to recharge the groundwater.
These trees are powerhouses, reducing stormwater pollution and so much more.
What is the image that pops up for you when you think “tree”? The Puget Sound Cities team is collaborating with non-profits, government agencies, businesses and more to support a healthy urban forest.
Last month, Microsoft employees came together with The Nature Conservancy to Hack for Good.
We are excited to announce the first six on-the-ground projects selected to engage communities in enhancing tree canopy in our cities and towns for the benefit of stormwater and human health.
The Community Steward program allows DRCC/TAG to draw on the strengths of residents while increasing stewardship skills and environmental-justice tools, transforming into a more well-rounded, healthy and sustainable community.
Kent Hillside Church is now home to 50 garden plots, four cisterns, a tool shed and blossoming community.
Today, close to 150 urban forest practitioners — including arborists, land managers, designers, municipal planners, program managers, volunteers and advocates — from around Washington will come together for this year’s Urban Forest Symposium, hosted at the Center for Urban Horticulture.
Know a tree project that could use some seed money? We are seeking projects that will enhance the urban forest canopy, with specific focus on contributing to positive stormwater management, human wellbeing and other benefits.
Learn about the difference a rain garden made for a middle school and a community. It’s now a centerpiece for learning and inspiring future conservationists.
As our urban spaces continue to grow in density, we are faced with challenges that we can address in concert from Seattle to Shanghai. Bringing nature back is a key approach to making our cities healthier and more livable.
When you start reimagining what a space could be without pavement, then you can start seeing opportunities for how the space can be used in a way to benefit people and nature.