March 25, 2019 /
Jona Elwell

Celebrate International Day of Forests with a Hardworking One – Your Urban Forest!

When we drink a glass of water, write in a notebook, take medicine for a fever or build a house, we do not always make the connection with forests. And yet, these and many other aspects of our lives are linked to forests in one way or another. Around 1.6 billion people – including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures – depend on forests for their livelihoods, medicines, fuel, food, and shelter. Globally forests are key to combating climate change and contribute to the prosperity and well-being of current and future generations. Last week, the world took some time to thank our forests globally through International Day of Forests, celebrated annually on March 21.

Closer to home, D.C.’s hardworking urban forest:

  • Has over two million trees
  • filters enough rainwater to fill 502 Olympic size swimming pools
  • is worth about $2.4 billion. Yes. Billion.
  • is one of the most cost-effective and efficient natural climate solutions.
  • stores 649,000 tons of carbon which is equivalent to 2,381,830 tons of Carbon Dioxide every year. That’s equivalent to removing 506,772 vehicles from the road. If you were to line those vehicles up end to end they would stretch from Boston to Miami.
  • Saves city residents a cool $3.5 million annually in energy costs by shading our workplaces, roads, churches, sidewalks, school, parks, and homes.
  • Encourages positive mental health and well being of all residents.

While those 2 million trees are busy, they need all the help they can get. We need your help to make D.C. a sustainable city with an impressive canopy. Consider attending an inventory so we can measure and identify trees. Become a member and support all our endeavors from plantings, inventories, classes, TreeWise youth program, watering, and more. Sign up to become a certified tree advocate and advocate for trees in development and planning projects throughout the city. Attend the Canopy Awards in April – a ticket gets you access to the biggest party in urban forestry while supporting Casey Trees.

Whatever you do, be sure to thank your urban forest – it works hard!