Blog Post By Jona Elwell

Here’s What Y’all Think of D.C.’s Trees

Remember when we let you know the city was collecting feedback on our urban forest? Well well well the preliminary results are in and we’re happy to share them with our dear readers.

First of all, a huge shout out to those who completed the survey. We had set a goal to get 1,000 responses and we blew that out of the water with over 1,400 responses!

Considering the District’s history of open, grand public greenspaces, it wasn’t exactly a surprise that the majority of respondents said they enjoy nature most in parks and gardens throughout D.C. Most folks also listed beautification, relaxation, and wellbeing as their favorite benefits of trees which is terrific! But also challenge, as those qualities are much harder to quantify and fight for than some of the other benefits of trees like the shade they deliver, or stormwater they mitigate.

One of the most encouraging statistics was that almost 90% of people surveyed said that D.C. needs more trees. And more than half of those people think we need more trees on the streets. The District Department of Transportation’s Urban Forestry Division is planting trees at a historical pace – which is great! If you see a sad or empty treebox, considering submitting a tree planting request to the city. More importantly, you can pledge to water new trees along the street and dramatically improve the chances that they mature into those grand canopy trees we all love and need so much.

One thing the survey told us we need to work on is awareness surrounding the city’s goals. Did you know D.C. has set a goal to have 40% canopy coverage throughout the city by 2032? This level of canopy provides many environmental and social benefits, including reduced stormwater runoff and carbon footprint, improved air quality, additional wildlife habitat, savings on energy bills, increased property value, and enhanced quality of life. A full tree canopy in D.C. also fosters social, economic, and educational opportunities and provides aesthetic benefits to residents.

Overall, the preliminary results from the survey are quite positive – but there is always work to be done! It’s always good to hear from the people directly so we know we’re working towards goals that are beneficial to trees *and* District residents. Want to know more? Want to add something else? We can always be reached at friends@caseytrees.org.  

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