A recent analysis of street trees and canopy cover completed by the Wisconsin DNR in cooperation with the communities of Allouez, Ashwaubenonon, Bellevue, De Pere, Green Bay, Hobart and Howard showed that public trees provide $6.14 million in annual benefits. In addition, the canopy analysis revealed the Green Bay metro area is currently covered by 24 percent tree canopy with the potential of an additional 56 percent of canopy cover.
The study highlights the significant values that community trees provide Green Bay area residents including the following:
• $1.81 million per year in summer cooling and winter heating energy savings
• $1.78 million per year in storm water management savings by intercepting approximately 65 million gallons of storm water annually
• $2.02 million per year increase in local property values
• $296,206 per year in air quality improvements by mitigating harmful air pollutants
• $233,998 per year in atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction
Understanding the important environmental and economic value that community trees provide will allow Wisconsin communities to improve management, advocate for future investment, build partnerships and address threats to ensure that residents receive environmental and economic services well into the future. Simply put, tree benefits increase as trees grow in size which emphasizes the need for sustainable planning, cooperation and participation by all to ensure that trees reach maturity and continue to enhance community livability.
Green Bay area residents can learn more about the regional and individual community tree canopy results and see how they can help by visiting the Wisconsin DNR Urban and Community website. The analysis was conducted utilizing the i-Tree Streets & Canopy software developed by the USDA Forest Service. I-Tree is a state-of-art, peer-reviewed, free software suite designed to quantify community tree ecosystem services.