American Forests, national nonprofit advocates for forest protection and expansion, recently produced a video highlighting the variety of benefits that urban forests provide to city residents. Featuring scenes from verdant Portland, the work reminds us that our urban trees and other green infrastructure provide critical environmental and social services. The five-minute video serves as an educational tool to help enhance the understanding of the vital role our urban forests play in the sustainability and livability of our cities.
Trees are important for urban watersheds because they hold water to reduce stormwater runoff, filter air pollutants, provide bird habitat, stabilize soil to prevent erosion, provide shade, and absorb carbon to reduce the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. They've been shown to improve property values, and street trees can slow traffic which makes streets safer for pedestrians, bike riders and motorists. Through the Grey to Green Initiative, Environmental Services works with partnering agencies and organizations like Friends of Trees to plant more trees and expand Portland's urban canopy.