Safe access to greenspace and well-canopied areas is critical for city dwellers. This is especially true for low-income residents of color, who are more likely to live in areas that are historically underserved in many public amenities. Across the country’s urban areas, there’s a strong correlation between high poverty rates, racial demographics that are predominately people of color, and lack of trees. Communities of color are thus denied all the ecosystem services that trees provide, and suffer higher rates of chronic diseases, like asthma, that have been linked to environmental stressors. Many cities are newly scrutinizing these disparities and focusing their planting efforts on where they are needed most.

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Chesapeake DEIJ Resources

The Diversity Workgroup is tasked with meeting the Diversity Outcome of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.

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Webinar: Redlining’s Intensifying Harm

A webinar on redlining and the current day implications on the distribution of tree canopy, extreme urban heat, and the quality of life. As well as how residents are working to overcome it.

Friends standing around a tree

Tree Equity Case Study: Oakland, CA

Founded in alignment with the principles of environmental justice, Urban Releaf’s work to improve Oakland’s tree canopy has had local and regional impacts on community resilience.

Aerial view of neighborhoods in Detroit

Tree Equity Case Study: Detroit, MI

The Greening of Detroit has overseen the planting and maintenance of more than 130,000 trees for the health, wealth, and resilience of Detroit neighborhoods.

Tree Equity Case Study: New Jersey

Since 1998, The New Jersey Tree Foundation has put community residents at the center of their mission to increase tree canopy in underserved, overburdened, and marginalized neighborhoods.

Canopy cover map of Portland

Tree Equity Case Study: Portland, OR

The City of Portland used data and city resources to plan for Tree Equity, working to prioritize equitable access to trees and urban forest services for communities of color, including low-income, refugee, and immigrant communities.

Neighborhood without a tree canopy next to neighborhood with ample tree camopy

Baltimore Tree Trust: Doing More Together

Baltimore’s lead tree-planting partner, The Baltimore Tree Trust, works to restore Tree Equity by increasing canopy cover in neighborhoods. They built community trust through word-of-mouth, informing tree planting and maintenance, one neighborhood at a time.

Baltimore: Reclaiming wood, lives and communities

The Baltimore Wood Project created a framework to be more thoughtful about urban wood “waste” in the city. With new partners and ideas, they modeled a regional economy around wood and land restoration.