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.
Knowing how much and where different types of land cover exist we can accurately predict how much and where stormwater will flow and how much pollution will enter each stream and on to Puget Sound.
Trees need maintenance throughout their lives, but it is particularly important right after planting while the tree is establishing.
“Most people don’t know about how trees benefit so many things and how its all connected through a huge and complicated system.”
Scientists have developed a new framework to guide city planners around the world in measuring the mental health benefits of nature and incorporating them into plans and policies for residents.
Thornton Creek, a once-polluted and neglected Seattle stream, is again home to spawning salmon, thanks to extensive and holistic restoration. It continues to be a living laboratory for how we can restore Puget Sound to health.
The importance and benefits of nature is not lost on the Friends of Hawthorne PTA — the re-envisioning of the school grounds revolved around nature and natural play areas
Today, we are releasing a Request for Proposals to support the capacity of local organizations to implement tree planting throughout Puget Sound urban areas. Up to $250,000 in funding will be distributed.
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.